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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
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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.

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                Featured photo credit: John Pastor via flickr.com

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                Alicia Prince

                A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                1 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 2 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 3 5 Values of an Effective Leader 4 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 5 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

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                Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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                No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

                Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

                Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

                A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

                Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

                In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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                From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

                A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

                For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

                This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

                The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

                That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

                Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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                The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

                Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

                But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

                The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

                The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

                A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

                For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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                But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

                If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

                For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

                These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

                For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

                How to Make a Reminder Works for You

                Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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                Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

                Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

                My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

                Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

                I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

                More on Building Habits

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                Reference

                [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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