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Do You Use IKEA? 7 Things IKEA Has Taught Me About Life

Do You Use IKEA? 7 Things IKEA Has Taught Me About Life

No matter your background or position, everyone has an opinion on IKEA. While some love the organization, flow, pricing, and practical nature, other people hate IKEA for the exact same reasons. Wherever you fall on the IKEA love/hate scale, everyone can agree that this successful store’s approaches are one-of-a-kind. Though the unique approaches from IKEA defy conventional ones, it hasn’t slowed down the home furnishing giant in the slightest. So kickback on your Karlstad, and dust off your Norden, these life lessons from IKEA are the real deal.

1. Minimalism Rocks

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    Nowhere is it more clear that minimalism is the way of the future than IKEA. Not only does minimalist designs make sense for decreased shipping costs and more efficiently design showrooms, minimalist designs are also more efficient to produce. As we increasingly see our home spaces transformed by new design elements, minimalism is one that is surely here to stay.

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    2. It’s OK To Be Cheap

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      Sure IKEA furniture doesn’t always last for more than a few years, but what things do these days? The affordable products at IKEA not only make for a successful business model, it  lets a lot of us have a more comfortable life then we would otherwise be able to afford. At times when everyone is struggling to make ends meet, it’s a nice reminder to know that being cheap can be a good thing.

      3. Be More Independent

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        Not everybody’s a fan of IKEA’s self-serve nature, however there’s nothing wrong with showing yourself what you can do. Sure you had to traverse four floors and carry your furniture to the till yourself, but making things is terrifically gratifying. Nothing but your sweat and tears made that couch a reality.          

        4. All You Need Is A Hexagonal Wrench

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          No matter how complicated your IKEA purchase is, it seems that it always goes together with nothing more than a few screws and a tiny wrench. Those shrunken hexagons build even the largest IKEA pieces, whether it’s a couch, table or bed. It’s enough evidence to convince me at least, that you can do anything in life with willpower and a hexagonal wrench.

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          5. Welcome Others

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            Who can forget this adorable monkey who found his way inside of an IKEA in Canada, in 2012. In the midst of inclement weather, IKEA sheltered the monkey until an alternative home could be found. Now happy and healthy at an animal sanctuary, the monkey named Darwin was captured in a humane way. A strong reminder that it is never out of fashion to care for others.

            6. Europe’s Where It’s At

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              IKEA’s not just an innovative store with successful products, it’s also the sign of new approaches in Europe. Not only that, but IKEA tailors its presence to every market it enters. Between futuristic spaces and more innovative building designs, it never hurts to look for influences outside our own countries. Not only that, approaching all cultures with respect is crucial in understanding others.

              7. Everything Is Better With Food

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                IKEA is a strong testament to a universally true principal: food makes everything better. Whether you’re a bacon fanatic, a junk food lover, or the person who can never turn down a pizza, absolutely every and anything goes better with food. In fact, if they allowed it at the gym, I would even snack while working out. Another tasty reason why IKEA keeps us coming back.

                Featured photo credit: John Pastor via flickr.com

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                Alicia Prince

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                Last Updated on March 23, 2021

                Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

                Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

                One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

                The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

                You need more than time management. You need energy management

                1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

                How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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                I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

                I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

                2. Determine your “peak hours”

                Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

                Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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                My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

                In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

                Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

                3. Block those high-energy hours

                Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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                Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

                If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

                That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

                There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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                Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

                Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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