Productive resting

Having freedom is dangerous. What if you never do anything actually good for you and your health, whether it is mental or physical? What if when you make your choices you don’t think about how they will affect you in a couple of years?

I am a lazy person. I could easily just veg out and watch YouTube for my whole life. How ever I try really hard not to do that, so what can I or us do that will make us feel rested but still not be a total waste of time.

I want to put a disclaimer here because I am sure someone is feeling very threatened that someone dares to tell them not to watch YouTube. You can do it. Just keep your head in the game and don’t over do it.

If you would die today. Would you feel like you had a fulfilled life? Would you feel like you did all that you could to achieve goals? Did you get anything done from your bucket list? No? Me neither.

So here are some ideas for you to start resting productively, letssaaa go 😉

Photo by Sidney M. on Unsplash
  • Make a bucket list of things you want to try. This can be an event you want to participate in, a habit you want to try, anything. I will next list out ideas that could go into your bucket list.
  • Date night; this can be with you and your partner, you and yourself or maybe you and your friends. Whom ever you will share this time with, try to plan. Don’t make it too simple like; Veg out and watch YouTube. That is what we want to avoid doing. Maybe plan an outing or a game night. Of if you are doing a date night alone, plan a pamper routine. Read a book you have put aside for “when I have time”…. yeah the time is this date night 😉
  • Travel to a destination that you want to visit. This could be near or far away, what ever suits your life right now. If you can’t afford to go on a road trip on your own, how about you save up for a while and ask your friends/partner join you. This way you will be able to have more money and not be alone. However there is nothing wrong with going on your own. It might just be a bit of a longer time that you have to save, depending where you want to go. Plan it out.
  • Meditate
  • Watch a Skillshare video that will teach you something and actually implement it: Skillshare To try out click here and get a 2 months free try out. (I am not sponsored at all I will however get one month free for everyone who becomes a premium member after the 2 months are up)

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
  • Watch a documentary. And don’t be passive about it. Write up notes as you watch. Check out some details after. It might never do anything for you or one day you might impress your potential boss by knowing about something that they wouldn’t have expected you to have know. (You can obviously do for the sake of curiosity as well)
  • Practice a skill. It might be doing a handstand, maybe a Yoga pose. What ever it is. Just use a couple of hours to work on that skill. Who knows it might become your thing 😉
  • I kind of already mentioned this but read. Read read read. It makes you rest from what ever you have to do. But it is still keeping your brain active. If you read a non fiction book you can learn and maybe implement new ideas. But even with a fiction book, you will get a lot of benefits. Making up a world in your head and escaping the reality can do great things for your health and creativity in your own projects. I personally at least feel like I am a lot more rested after reading a fiction book than just staring at the screen for ages.
  • Go for a walk. Yes it is that simple
  • Figure yourself out. Journal, have a journal prompt. Figure out anything you can about you. Isn’t it weird sometimes that we know a friend better than we know ourselves? I mean why can we give advice to a friend but when it comes to ourselves we are clueless? Well…. maybe after journaling and figuring things out, you can give advice to yourself
  • In case my ideas didn’t show case my point I shall write it here in a more clear way. When I am mentioning productive resting I mean getting our mind of work/studies or what ever else is stressing you out, and giving it a break, while not shutting it totally off. Shutting off is sometimes a good thing. But when it becomes a method to procrastinate, or to veg out totally, it becomes unhealthy. And while I am sure that the ideas I mentioned in this post are something you can still over do, but most of the time the risk is smaller than with say Instagram, YouTube or other social media.

If you want some ideas for challenges you could do or things to put on bucket lists check out the Goal Guys on YouTube (no the irony isn’t lost on me) Goal Guys My favourite video from them right now is this : I tried to go 7 Days Without Procrastination One of the reasons why I love them is because they inspire you to gamefy your goals and try new things without huge commitment fear 😉

Also here is a link to my bucket list on Pinterest: Bucket list Pinterest

Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you in the comments. What should I write about next? What are your bucket list items?

Xoxo, Changed Life

The perfect little lie

Tomorrow, I will start my new life. I will get 25 things done (half of which take 5h each) I will learn 20 languages and I will never, ever put things off ever again. And what happens the next morning at 5 am? Snooooooooooze.

So what what is the act of putting things of called? Procrasitnation.

Why do we procrastinate? If we are talking from a human experience point of view I would say we procrastinate for couple of reasons. Some more acceptable than others.

  1. Fear of Failure We as humans need to succeed. Failing has often this humiliating affect on us. Instead of accepting that we learned how not to do something, we think we just failed for the rest of our lives. So the next time we don’t even try (and lets be honest. That is the real failure)
  2. Bad health habits. Now there is a lot of research done on how to optimize your brain and one of those ways is to be healthy. So eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising and sleeping enough. It is quite simple … how ever sometimes we seem to procrastinate on becoming healthy… what a vicious cycle it is.
  3. Being addicted to something; in today’s age it is increasingly easy to boast about how you don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. BUT do you perhaps touch your phone every 6 minutes? Because that is an addiction. If someone would alcohol every 6 minutes or smoke a cigarette that often, you wouldn’t question that they have an addiction but somehow with phones it isn’t the same?

If we discuss why we procrastinate from a biological/ physical point of view its due to our brains being structured to not want to do things that are difficult or that we are afraid of. So if our brain senses a danger (aka we dread a project) it automatically puts us into a mode of resistance to the hard thing, and we reach for the phone or what ever it is that we rather do. (Even though we are more adapted to resist difficult things do not make this your excuse, you’ll just live a miserable life.) Read more here: Science Behind Procrastination

How do we make sure that we leave procrastination to the minimal? (sometimes we are allowed to stumble)

  1. Place in routines that help you. Start your morning smartly. Instead of procrastinating getting up, make your alarm ring across your room (and don’t let it be your phone) Do maybe a couple of jumping jacks so you don’t feel like going back into bed. Wash your face with cold water …or take a cold shower. (it suck to take it btw.) But when you do difficult things right in the morning, when you are somehow still able to resist temptation it makes your rest of the day less resistance based.
  2. Figure out the issues you have: Is the project too large to conceptualize right away? Well make it into small sections, e.g. research, take notes, write paragraph 1-3 and 4-6 and lastly 6-10, proof read, come up with a good title, write down the resources you used and send it. Often times people get into this head space of the end goal. If you are obese and your eventual goal is to be a body builder, you will have to find small wins along the way. It can’t count as a failure if you don’t wake up next morning with six pack abs after eating healthy once or going to the gym once. With this logic it can’t be counted as a failure to take smaller steps in completing a project either.
  3. Figure out what motivates you. Not on a short term. But on a bigger scale. Is it being proud of doing the things you promised yourself you would do. Maybe you want to feel beautiful and healthy. Maybe you don’t like being stressed all the time. What ever it is for you, link your goals to feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction and joy. Things won’t bring joy on a longer time line. So don’t count yourself to deserve a coffee if you get done with a project. It is very easy to talk yourself into having a coffee because your need a pick me up. Trying to believe that you will be proud of yourself even if you fail in an exam, isn’t that easy.

What do you guys struggle with the most when it comes to procrastination? Leave it down in the comments. Would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and until next time.

The 15 minute Rule, Caroline Buchanan Book Review+extra


You can do almost anything for 15 minutes at a time

I have started reading this book: The 15-minute rule- How to stop procrastinating and take control of your life book, by Caroline Buchanan. I must say that this book is amazing at least thus far. This is a very technical book, not in how it is written but due to the subject of the book, so If you are looking for a book that is written with poetic mastery, this is not for you. But if you realize that there are some aspects of your life that you aren’t mastering to the best of your potential, I urge you to grab this book and read it. Not all of it is for everyone, and that is the beauty of this book, that I think you can find the parts that apply mostly to you and concentrate on those.

So, what is the 15-minute rule? The idea behind this rule is that no matter what your task is you can do it for 15 minutes. Just fifteen minutes, that isn’t so long, right? After you get started you find momentum and then you can continue for another 15 min and so on. The catch here is that a huge reason for procrastinating is that we over think every task and make everything seem more daunting than it is, and 15 minutes gets us started. 15-minutes is enough to properly get the wheels turning and still not so much time that you would really have time to over think the task. Some ways to make the 15-minute rule even more effective were these:

Divide your 15 minutes into 3 parts:

1st 5 min: What is bothering your productivity the most right now? A messy desk? Clean it for 5 minutes.

2nd 5 min: Brain dump, everything you should be doing/have done (make sure to be able to find this paper/note later on)

3rd 5 min: Prepare for the next 15-minute session, take some snack with you, some tea and get started again.

Divide your 15-minutes into 3’s as well:

1st 15 min is about brainstorming and preparing for the work you are about to achieve.

2nd 15 min is about prioritizing what is essential in your project. If you have 15 calls to make, which ones are urgent?

3rd 15 min Start making the calls, or planning what you need to discuss in said calls.

Once you get started you will find it hard to stop. But you should stop. If you do not give yourself a pause after 15 minutes your brain will start to think of the 15-minute rule as a fake one, and you will have another reason to postpone your to-do’s. “It won’t actually be just 15 minutes, I’ll get stuck and I will do it for an hour, I don’t have an hour right now.”

One of the most important things is to also get to know yourself. Why do you procrastinate? For me the biggest reasons are these:

  1. I do not know where to start, and I am afraid that I am doing the wrong task. “Hey psst, you; brain, maybe you should actually be studying Spanish, not French.”
  2. “You won’t be able to do a good enough post anyway, never mind, maybe one day, when you know how to write better you can make a good blog post.” That would be me trying to reach perfection or being scared of failure.
  3. “What if you do become something, and then you become this snob, or the people who don’t like you will spread lies about you or something”: That would be the fear of success.
  • Done is better than perfect and the only failure is not trying.

What are some of your fears?

One of the most amazing points in this book is that to act on something you do not have to be motivated. For example; if you feel like going to the loo, no matter how lazy; uninspired you feel. At some point, you get up and go, because you must. So why not with the small, or big tasks in your life? Setting a timer for 15-minutes isn’t hard. And sitting on your butt for 15-minutes isn’t that bad either.

Procrastination is a habit. It is something that we have taught our brain to do, to achieve instant gratification. The 5 minutes we scroll Instagram instead of writing a blog post, doing school work, calling that client; is instant gratification. We get to do something “fun” and forget our responsibilities. This is something that Charles Duhigg talks about in the Tony Robbins podcast the #1 secret to productivity. You should really listen to the podcast if you are interested in the psychology behind habits and changing them.

“If you keep doing what you keep doing, you keep getting what you keep getting.”

The sad fact of today’s society is that we are trying to achieve goals right away and we want to see results right now. That is why social media appeals to us, because we get new interesting stimuli all the time. Just scroll down the Instagram feed and you will see something pretty and flashy every 3 seconds. But this has led to the fact that procrastination is now more common that ever up to 85% of us procrastinate daily (according to the research company: ICD). This is a humongous issue, because procrastination is proven to cause health issues; unhappiness, weight gain and causes us to become poorer. Is that really the way we want to live our lives?

So I urge you, if you notice the signs of procrastination in you, read this book, and apply the 15 minute rule into your life.

“It is our attitude at eh beginning of a difficult task, which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” – William James, psychologist.

If you are interested in the podcast with Charles Duhigg it is to be found on Spotify:

Thanks for reading!


The Writer