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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

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

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                Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

                The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

                Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

                Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

                The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

                Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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                Program Your Own Algorithms

                Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

                Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

                By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

                How to Form a Ritual

                I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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                Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

                1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
                2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
                3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
                4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

                Ways to Use a Ritual

                Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

                1. Waking Up

                Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

                2. Web Usage

                How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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                3. Reading

                How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

                4. Friendliness

                Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

                5. Working

                One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

                6. Going to the gym

                If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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                7. Exercise

                Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

                8. Sleeping

                Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

                8. Weekly Reviews

                The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

                Final Thoughts

                We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

                More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

                 

                Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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