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In a Rut? Change Your Routine and Change Your Life

In a Rut? Change Your Routine and Change Your Life

It happens to the best of us. We put our heads down, push through each day, let ourselves settle into a certain kind of rut, and before we know it we’re restless and weary and can’t figure out how we got there. It’s important to keep in mind that being uncomfortable with the status quo is okay and is often a good thing.

If you’re feeling this way, making some key routine changes could offer the variety you didn’t even know you were looking for in your life.

Remove Negative Words From Your Vocabulary

    As cheesy as it may seem, make a conscious effort to remove negativity from your life. Start with your own vocabulary by not allowing yourself to say words and phrases such as “I wish I could…”, “can’t,” “won’t,” “never,” and “shouldn’t.” Instead, find ways to make yourself say what you’re looking to say with different words. For instance, instead of saying, “I wish I got paid more,” say, “I’m going to work hard to earn a raise.” And then work hard to earn a raise.

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    This type of positive thinking can train your subconscious to change the way you view things.

    Focus on One Goal Each Month

      It has been said for a long time that it takes 21 days to form a habit. That exact time frame has been debunked, but it’s still a good amount of time to devote to developing a new habit and become accustomed to embracing it as a part of your everyday life. There are no rules saying you can’t work on more than one goal at a time. The idea is to not commit to more than what is realistic for you.

      Feel free to change it up and add in more positive changes as you see fit. Just don’t overdo it – that would undermine the mental wellness and well-being that we’re trying to achieve.

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      Get up Earlier

        In addition to getting a slower, more peaceful start for the day, waking up early has notable health benefits. First, you’ll be more likely to eat a balanced breakfast, which jump starts your metabolism and promotes a healthy weight. It also helps you focus throughout the day. But more importantly, waking up early promotes a healthy mental well-being and a positive outlook.

        Give it a try for a month and see how you feel.

        Set Fitness Goals

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          Everyone knows that exercise is good for your health. Most of us have attempted to improve our exercise habits. Some are admittedly more successful than others. So take this opportunity to actually do it. Incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine and see what it does to your body, your attitude, and your general outlook on life.

          In no time you’ll be reducing your stress level, boosting your metabolism, and increasing brain function among a host of other positive health perks. It may be helpful to find a place to live that’s conducive to these new goals you’ve set for yourself. Look for something with areas to ride a bike or jog nearby, or an apartment complex that includes an onsite gym or a gym membership. You’re bound to find the right fit once you start looking for apartments for rent by metro areas.

          Change Responsibilities at Work

            Our careers are such an important aspect of our lives that if you’re in a rut, making some changes at work could really make a difference. Perhaps you’re bored because you’re not stimulated enough through your work. Look for new opportunities to change things up. Maybe a position in a different department is opening up, or you’re up for a promotion.

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            On the other hand, maybe it’s time to make some major changes. Keep your ear to the ground for any changes you can make to switch it up a bit and stay fresh.

            Drink More Water

              We don’t have to tell you that drinking water is good for you – it just is. It promotes cell growth and mental alertness, detoxifies your body, aides in digestion, and just plain tastes good. Make a pact to drink water to promote a healthy state of being and to help make the rest of your goals more achievable.

              The rut you’re feeling is real, and there are very simple things you can do to pull yourself out of it. Give some of these ideas a try, and let us know in the comments how it’s changed things for you.

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              Last Updated on May 22, 2019

              The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

              The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

              If you spend any time at all researching life hacks, you’ve probably heard of the famous Pomodoro Technique.

              Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management life hacks used today. But this method isn’t for everyone, and for every person who is a passionate adherent of the system, there is another person who is critical of the results.

              Is the Pomodoro Technique right for you? It’s a matter of personal preference. But if you are curious about the benefits of using the technique, this article will break down the basic information you will need to decide if this technique is worth trying out.

              What is the Pomodoro Technique?

              The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

              The process is simple:

              For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically.

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              You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

              Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

              After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

              Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

              How the Pomodoro Technique boosts your productivity

              Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. According to the official Pomodoro website, the system is easy to use and you will see results very quickly:

              “You will probably begin to notice a difference in your work or study process within a day or two. True mastery of the technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant use.”

              If you have a large and varied to-do list, using the Pomodoro Technique can help you crank through projects faster by forcing you to adhere to strict timing.

              Watching the timer wind down can spur you to wrap up your current task more quickly, and spreading a task over two or three pomodoros can keep you from getting frustrated.

              The constant timing of your activities makes you more accountable for your tasks and minimizes the time you spend procrastinating.

              You’ll grow to “respect the tomato”, and that can help you to better handle your workload.

              Successful people who love it

              Steven Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog is a fan of the system, and has compiled a great list of Apple-compatible Pomodoro tools.

              Before he started using the technique, he said,

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              “Sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to organize a single day in my calendar, simply because I would jump around to all sorts of projects and never get even one of them accomplished.”

              Another proponent of the Pomodoro Technique is Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. Shellenbarger tried out this system along with several other similar methods for time management, and said,

              “It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.”

              Any cons for the Pomodoro Technique?

              Despite the number of Pomodoro-heads out there, the system isn’t without its critics. Colin T. Miller, a Yahoo! employee and blogger, tried using the Pomodoro Technique and had some issues:[1]

              “Pomodoros are an all or nothing affair. Either you work for 25 minutes straight to mark your X or you don’t complete a pomodoro. Since marking that X is the measurable sign of progress, you start to shy away from engaging in an activity if it won’t result in an X. For instance…meetings get in the way of pomodoros. Say I have a meeting set for 4:30pm. It is currently 4:10pm, meaning I only have 20 minutes between now and the meeting…In these instances I tend to not start a pomodoro because I won’t have enough time to complete it anyway.”

              Another critic is Mario Fusco, who argues that the Pomodoro Technique is…well…sort of ridiculous:[2]

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              “Aren’t we really able to keep ourselves concentrated without a timer ticketing on our desk?… Have you ever seen a civil engineer using a timer to keep his concentration while working on his projects?… I think that, like any other serious professional, I can stay concentrated on what I am doing for hours… Bring back your timer to your kitchen and start working in a more professional and effective way.”

              Conclusion

              One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Yeah, you can fork over some bills to get a tomato-shaped timer if you want… or you can use any timer program on your computer or phone. So even if you try it and hate it, you haven’t lost any cash.

              The process isn’t ideal for every person, or in any line of work. But if you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique may fit your needs.

              If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, check out this article: How to Make the Pomodoro Technique More Productive

              Reference

              [1] Aspirations of a Software Developer: A Month of the Pomodoro Technique
              [2] InfoQ: A Critique of the Pomodoro Technique

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