Quotes To Cheer Your Day

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Tips To Simplify Your Workday

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”  - Steve Jobs

Doing what you love makes the workday easier. However, even if you love your job, no day is same and it’s not always easy to enjoy your work. After all, work is all about, well, work!

So, how can you keep the flame burning to go to the work every day with the same enthusiasm? How can you have more time for other activities, avoid burnout and finish your work quickly?

Here are 10 Tips to Make Your Work Day Easier:

Focus on high reward tasks.  
Doing things that take up maximum time but give no rewards should be avoided. Focus on your top tasks. Avoid unproductive things such as gossip, and office politics. Do not allow your colleagues to interrupt you unnecessarily.

Don’t over plan.  
Planning your work is imperative to a smooth work flow. However, too much planning before doing anything makes less time to get things done. Moreover, avoid plans to do too many things in one time frame, such as back-to-back meetings. This is the best way to cut short your ‘to-do’ list for the day and make your day less stressful.

Learn to manage Email.  
Email is one thing that takes the maximum time of an employee. Hence, if you know how to manage your emails, half of your work is done. You can make your work easier by limiting the size of each response, yet conveying the complete message.

Learn shortcuts 
Setting up auto-text on your mobile allows you to respond to office messages on the go. You do not need to type the entire thing every time while responding to messages. 

Say “no” when necessary.  
In addition to removing a few things from your ‘to-do’ list, saying “no” also becomes vital in the work place. Saying “no” conveys that you are capable enough to distinguish between work priorities, productive and unproductive work.

Question what is not clear
Question the things that you think are not required. For instance, most of the office meetings are considered a waste of time. Ask if the meeting is actually required, if there is too much time allotted for it, what the agenda is, etc.

Keep communication open. 
 The way you interact or communicate with people at different work levels also defines how smoothly you can manage your work. Hence, maintain professionalism, yet build personal rapport with colleagues. Keep all your communications clear to avoid any misunderstandings.

Delegate work. 
Have a long list of tasks? Make it easier by delegating. It is worth delegating the work to a new intern, your direct report, or a virtual assistant. This way you can focus more on important things, and have other employees learn new tasks.  Delegate smartly, choosing the right person for each task.

Don’t stress.  
You cannot maintain the same level of energy every day and for every task. Hence, do not put pressure on yourself to fight for perfection. Yes, keeping focus on making things right is important, however fighting for perfectionism is like making your work life harder.

Get organized.  
The key to make your work easier is organizing everything- from your desktop to Email inbox, and from interactions with colleagues to meetings!

Making your work easier is actually in your hands. Implement these 10 easy tips, and experience a better work day.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

How To Live A Life Of Purpose

Some people measure success by the wealth they’ve accumulated, the power they’ve attained, or the status they’ve achieved. Yet, even though they’ve reached success beyond their wildest dreams, they still have an empty feeling — something is missing from their life. In order to fill that void and be completely fulfilled in life, their soul may be searching for something more.

Although everyone is different, there are common threads that bind a life with purpose.
Live by your beliefs and values. People who live a life of purpose have core beliefs and values that influence their decisions, shape their day-to-day actions, and determine their short- and long-term priorities. 

They place significant value on being a person of high integrity and in earning the trust and respect of others. The result is that they live with a clear conscience and spend more time listening to their inner voice than being influenced by others.

Set priorities. 
People who live a life of purpose identify those activities that matter most to them and spend the majority of their time and effort in those areas. Otherwise, it’s too easy to drift away in the currents of life. "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."

Follow your passion. 
People who live a life of purpose wake up each morning eager to face the new day. They pursue their dreams with fervor, put their heart into everything they do, and feel that they’re personally making a difference. "Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today."

Achieve balance
People who live a life of purpose put their heart into their career and into building relationships with friends and family. They also reserve adequate time to satisfy their personal needs. "Achieving balance means living up to one’s potential in all facets of life."

Live a life of content 
People who live a life of purpose have an inner peace. They’re satisfied with what they have and who they are. To them, the grass is greener on their own side of the fence. "The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money."

Make a difference. 
People who live a life of purpose make a meaningful difference in someone else’s life. They do things for others without expectation of personal gain, serve as exemplary role models, and gain as much satisfaction witnessing the success of others as witnessing their own. "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”

Live in the moment. 
People who live a life of purpose cherish every moment and seek to live life without regret. They take joy in the experiences that life gives and don’t worry about keeping score. "Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

Thursday, 19 February 2015

How To Cope With Stress

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you have a pattern for coping with stress. Unfortunately, most people have found patterns and methods that do not support good health.

If you want to be truly successful in coping with stress, you need to identify negative coping patterns, and replace them with the following, positive ways of coping.

 1. Train yourself to think like an optimist
What distinguishes an optimist from a pessimist is the way in which one explains both good and bad events. Instead of blaming, for example, you recognize that everyone makes mistakes. Instead of getting angry, you forgive. Instead of being down on yourself, you recognize that you did your best, given the circumstances.

 2. Make a real effort to talk to yourself in a positive way. 
There is a constant dialogue taking place in our heads, and our self-talk makes an impression on our subconscious mind. In order to develop or maintain a positive mental attitude, you must guard against negative self-talk.

Become aware of your self-talk and then consciously work to imprint positive self-talk on the subconscious mind. Two powerful tools for creating positive self-talk are questions and affirmations.

 3. Ask better questions.
The quality of your life is equal to the quality of the questions you habitually ask yourself. For example: An individual is met with a particular challenge or problem. He or she can ask a number of questions in this situation, such as “Why does this always happen to me?” or, “Why am I always so stupid?”

The answers to these questions don’t build self-esteem. A better question would be, “What can I learn from this situation or do to make it better?” If you want more happiness in your life, simply ask yourself the following questions on a consistent basis: “What am I most happy about in my life right now?” and “Why does that make me happy?”

 4. Use positive affirmations.
An affirmation is a short statement with some emotional intensity behind it. Positive affirmations can make imprints on the subconscious mind to create a healthy, positive self-image. In addition, affirmations can actually fuel the changes you desire.
You may want to have the following affirmations in plain sight to recite them over the course of the day:
I am blessed with an abundance of energy.
Love, joy, and happiness flow through me with every heartbeat.
I am thankful for all of my good fortune.
Yes, I can!

 5. Set positive goals.
Learning to set goals is another powerful method for building a positive attitude and raising self-esteem. Goals can be used to create a “success cycle.” Achieving goals helps you feel better about yourself, and the better you feel about yourself, the more likely that you will achieve your goals.

Here are some guidelines to use when setting goals:
State the goal in positive terms. For example, it’s better to say “I enjoy eating healthy, low-calorie, nutritious foods” than “I will not eat sugar, candy, ice cream, and other fattening foods.”
Make your goal attainable and realistic. Little things add up to make a major difference in the way you feel about yourself.
Be specific. The more clearly your goal is defined, the more likely you are to reach it.
State the goal in the present tense, not the future tense. In order to reach your goal, you have to believe you have already attained it.
Set short-term goals that can be used to help you achieve your long-term goals. Get into the habit of asking yourself the following question each morning and evening: “What must I do today to achieve my long-term goal?”

 6. Practice positive visualizations.
Many people believe that we have to be able to see our lives the way we want them to be before it happens. In terms of ideal health, you absolutely must picture yourself in ideal health if you truly want to experience this state.

You can use visualization in all areas of your life, but especially for your health. Be creative and have fun with positive visualizations and you will soon find yourself living your dreams.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Self Reflection Thought Provoking Questions

We spend most of our lives whizzing through our days. There is precious little time to self-reflect in order to change our perspective on life. 

These questions are designed to help you get started on one of the most important things you can do for yourself; become more self-reflective in order to improve yourself and your relationships.

As you read these questions, consider how they might challenge long held assumptions you may have about yourself and others.

1. Who are the people you surround yourself with?
2. Do you have a personal mission statement?
3. How do you express your gratitude for good things and people you have in your life?
4. What are you spending your money on?
5. Are you satisfied with your work?
6. If you had unlimited resources, how would you live your life?
7. Did you pause to celebrate the last time you accomplished a goal, big or small?
8. Do you consider yourself worthy of love and admiration?
9. How do you react when you encounter a homeless person?
10. Do you meditate daily for at least 5 minutes?
11. What story are you telling yourself about your life?
12. How do you deal with failure?
13. What is your favorite quote?
14. What do you want your life to look like in 5 years? Do you have a plan to get there?
15. What messages have you internalized?
16. What inspires you?
17. If you could only speak one word today, what would you say?
18. When was the last time you took some time to be alone?
19. If you could spend 15 minutes with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
20. Did you say “I love you” to the most important person in your life today?
21. What step can you take today in order to fulfill your deepest desire?
22. How have you educated yourself today?
23. What did failure to reach your goal teach you about yourself?
24. Did you read a positive or uplifting book today?
25. Are you holding on to any past mistakes?
26. What habits are holding you back from success?
27. Are you feeding your fears or your hopes and dreams?
28. What gives you peace?
29. How do you challenge your assumptions?
30. What is the biggest frustration you’re facing now?
31. Are your goals and dreams written down?
32. What is your relationship with money?
33. How do you keep a sense of perspective when life gets difficult?
34. Are you a good listener?
35. What gives you meaning?
36. How often do you keep in touch with family and friends?
37. What is the source of your procrastination?
38. How much time are you spending on social media?
39. Are you able to say no, even when it makes you unpopular?
40. Who are your professors in the school of life?
41. Do you bring your work home with you?
42. When was the last time you had an exciting idea that kept you awake most of the night? Are you pursuing that idea today?
43. What are the top 2 compliments you hear from people about yourself?
44. When someone sees your name on caller ID, what thoughts and feelings do you want them to have?
45. Have you ever invested in yourself financially? Why or why not?
46. If you were asked to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
47. What books have influenced you the most?
48. Who are the people under your influence?
49. Do you trust your own instincts?
50. Do you choose happiness or leave it to chance?
51. Are you open to experiencing something outside your comfort zone everyday?
52. What small habit can you change today?
53. What’s your favorite exercise routine?
54. Name one psychological barrier in your life? What is it holding you back from doing?
55. Do you fear rejection? What are you doing to overcome this fear?
56. Do you follow through on commitments?
57. How many times a day do you check your email?
58. Are you content? If not, what is the source of your lack of contentment?
59. If you could eliminate one things from your life today, what would it be?
60. Who are you becoming?

Go through the questions again, slowly and deliberately. This list is not exhaustive. Hope these inspires you to ask more thought provoking questions and inspire you for the better. 

Friday, 30 January 2015

How To Trick Your Brain To Build Motivation

Motivation is a state that is not just psychological, but also biochemical. If you know a bit about brain circuitry and chemistry, you can use some scientific tricks to sharpen your motivation.

Certain brain chemicals switch on energy and motivation in the human body; so boosting levels of these neurotransmitters will give you more drive and determination. Use the following brain tricks and tips to stimulate your motivational mode, by using the power of biochemistry and psychology.

1. Believe in Yourself

Dopamine is one of the brain chemicals most strongly associated with motivation and reward. Studies show that experiencing self-belief causes a surge of dopamine; so a positive self-image can be a really powerful motivator.

Think of yourself as someone who relishes new challenges and can succeed. Build your identity as a go-getter by forming mental movies of yourself feeling motivated and achieving your goals. Surround yourself with others who believe in you as well. Research shows that being told you will perform well by others releases dopamine, too.

2. Recall Pleasant Past Experiences

If you feel demotivated by a specific task, remembering a time when you enjoyed doing that activity can spark your motivational mode. A recent study showed that recalling and describing a positive memory of a task increases motivation in that area. Not only does remembering a pleasant experience of an activity boost motivation to start doing it, but study participants actually achieved more over the next week when they had a positive memory in mind.

3. Start Smart

Even if you don’t feel very motivated to begin something, that doesn’t mean your efforts are doomed to failure. The way that the brain works is that it will naturally start to produce dopamine as you begin to get things done.

If you’re not very motivated, pick a tiny, easy part of the task to begin with. Dopamine is produced every time you achieve something, no matter how small it is. The brain enjoys frequent positive feedback to let it know things are progressing towards a final goal. The dopamine boost you’ll get from that initial achievement will leave you feeling buzzed — and pave the way to you doing more.

4. Change How You View, Or Do, A Task

Psychology teaches us that the most naturally motivating tasks of all are those for which we have intrinsic motivations. This basically means that the more you enjoy the process, and the more it matches important values for you, the more likely you are to complete an activity.

You can change how you view mundane tasks by recognizing their significance or making them more fun. For example, if you’ve got accounting to complete, look at it as a symbol of you being in control of your finances. Pin photos of your family around your work area, to remind yourself who you’re working hard for. Make admin tasks more enjoyable by making up little games, or take your laptop outside, so you can enjoy a bit of sun while you work.

5. Drink Coffee

Coffee is known to release dopamine into the brain, as well as having the ability to increase mental focus. Scientists have found that caffeine can enhance some cognitive tasks, such as memory functions, and spark off the motivation and reward circuit in the brain.

Drinking sips of coffee as you begin, and progress through, a task can help you to feel more motivated. However, make sure you don’t overdose on caffeine. Too much coffee can lead to an energy slump later in the day.

6. Validate Yourself

One of the most powerful ways of getting dopamine into the mesolimbic pathway, where it will make you feel motivated, is by acknowledging your own achievements. The dopamine reward system goes into overdrive when we achieve positive feedback of one kind or another.

Completing a task should give you this dopamine burst, but you can nudge the process along by validating yourself. Make a mental note of three things you did especially well on any task you finish. If you’re the type of person who needs praise from others to feel satisfaction, share your successes with others to get that dopamine boost.

7. Eat Yourself Motivated

Catecholamines are important neurotransmitters for mental energy, stimulation and motivation. As well as dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline belong to this category of brain chemicals. If you keep levels high, you will have more motivation, energy and mental focus.

Catecholamines are built from an amino acid called L-Tyrosine, which can be found in several food sources. Seaweed is extremely high in L-Tyrosine, but if that doesn’t tickle your taste-buds, you can also get this important amino acid from turkey, cottage cheese, egg whites, chicken and duck.

8. Get Your Brain Going

The body is designed to conserve energy in harsher conditions and environments. For example, when winter comes, the body saves its energy for surviving, rather than enthusiasm. This is why you may find yourself lacking energy and motivation during cooler, darker months. However, hibernating can actually create an unhelpful feedback loop, confirming to the brain that it should stop all non-essential functions.

If you find your enthusiasm flagging with a change in environment or season, this is the very time to make an effort to get active. By getting outside and moving about, you’re telling your brain to stop conserving energy. You should find that your enthusiasm and motivation return once you give your brain the green light.

9. Practice Motivation

In recent years, neuroscientists have learned that people are not fixed in terms of how they think and feel, nor in what they can achieve. You can strengthen any circuit in the brain by simply using it more, making it easier to go that way naturally next time.

If you have a monumental task that you just can’t seem to get motivated for, practice making motivated states by working on something else a little smaller. You wouldn’t run a marathon without having completed a few smaller races. Pep yourself up by achieving some smaller goals in a similar area, so you can strengthen your natural motivational response. Combine some of the tips above to help you build super-motivated states.