Personal development, Reading and Books, Student Life

How to successfully study (even if you aren’t at school)

The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice”

Brian Herbert

So; I had a blog post poll and twitter and 2 post ideas got the same votes; the one I am writing about right now and “How to have conversations”. So I will make the post about conversations for next Monday. But today we will talk about how to study. While the title mentions that it isn’t for school, it can be applied to school as well. I just feel like even after we are done with school, we should still continue learning and this we need to know how to study; so here we go! (I will link bellow my own posts on similar topics and other resources to help you learn! )

Tip N.1; Choose one thing (Maybe two if they are different enough)

I feel like the most important part is to figure out what you want to study. I don’t think there is a good thing and a mad thing to study. You can study languages, math, culture, history, self development. What ever feels like your own.

However this poses a problem. You aren’t at school, so no one is going to give you a limit to what to study. It isn’t realistic to study all sub parts of all of the topics listed about (plus there is like 1000’s of more of them, that I just don’t have time to list). So as my tip suggest don’t choose too many things to study. Even if it seems very tempting.

You could study a language and history. That way they are different enough. If you study Spanish you might want to learn about Spanish history, because you might understand the culture better. But don’t choose too many things, just so you don’t feel overwhelmed. I am sure we all remember how stressful it was to learn everything for our finals, why would you do that to yourself on purpose, right?

Once you stop learning you start dying.

Albert Einstein

Tip 2; How do you learn best?

Now that teachers aren’t thrusting a book into your had and telling you to read and learn 500 pages by heart. You can actually listen to yourself and figure out how you learn best. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use multiple methods, it means you should see what works the best and after that using the other methods to bring variety into your studies. Just because you like pasta the most doesn’t mean you can never eat anything else…right? So Figure out your tastes and start planning

Tip 3; Plan your learning

Learning can be a great way to pass time and relaxing without having to check your phone
Learning can be fun!

This doesn’t have to be as hardcore as at schools. You don’t have to know that by the end of tomorrow you have read chapters 1-5 from a book. But making sure you have some kind of a picture is important. If you work, are a stay at home mother or go to school and want to learn things outside of school, you should make sure you have time for the thing you want to study.

So check your calendar. Is 30 minutes a day realistic? How about 1 hour every other day? Maybe study what you want for couple of hours during the weekend. Or make it a part of your morning routine. You can easily wake up 15 minutes earlier and decide to study a little bit of vocabulary before getting up. Or do that during night time, this way your brain will process the info while you sleep. Either way, make sure you have time for what you want to learn. Trust me when I say it doesn’t work if you just plan on studying “when you feel like it” it didn’t work in school and it sure as hell won’t work now, because you won’t even have you finals to force you to study…

Tip 4; Figure out a why

Just being curious is a good thing, but it won’t last you for a long time and it won’t be something constant. Obviously there is nothing wrong about once in a while reading a fascinating article. However, if you want to seriously learn something, you should have a strong why. For example; I want to learn Spanish, because I have studied it for ages and I like the sound of it. The idea that I could one day have a conversation with a Spanish person seems fantastic and I think it will help me understand their culture. Since culture and languages are often closely linked. A while a go I learned, because I had family members in France. Just thinking the languages if fun, isn’t a bad reason. But it rarely is strong enough. However if it is good enough for you, great!


Here were my 4 tips for studying even if you aren’t at school. All of these however work even if you are. Leave a comment if I forgot something and I hope this helps! Bellow I linked my own posts on similar topics and other resources to help you learn!

My posts; Growth VS. Fixed mindset , Be taught and teach, 5 life changing challenges

Other helpful sources; AsapSCIENCE, Charisma On Command, Fastcompany, How to learn books

Xoxo, Alisa

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Health, Personal development

Phone addiction; why is it bad?

Today we use our phones a stupid amount. According to Business Insider, we check our phones up to 2, 617 times a day. And that is our “normal use” if you are a heavy user then that number rises up to 5, 400 times. That means you touch it about 180 times an hour if you are using it within a time period of 12 hours. (As a normal user). And that sounds to me that it’s a huge issue. And I don’t think that it sounds like a healthy amount at all.

Full article here: Business Insider

Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

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Time is ticking and your thumbs are just tapping Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

The List has interviewed a couple of doctors about the negative effects that the overuse of our device can lead to.  And to be honest not one of the symptoms is something I haven’t to an extent or another noticed in myself.

  1. Eye strain is a common issue for me. It is also something that Dr. Howard Purcell explains to Adria Valdes Greenhauff, the writer of the article “What really happens when you stare at your phone all day”. The eyes have 6 muscles that control its use and one of them is in charge of focusing the eyes. If you don’t let your eyes rest from focusing it will eventually grow tired. Ever had red, itchy and achy eyes? Maybe even a full blast headache? Yeah me too.
  2. We have a lot of overuse injuries as well, Dr. Jennifer Stagg talks about the strain using your phone causes to your neck. Even an inch of a head drop can lead to double the load on the muscles. Using your phone can lead to wrist and thumb issues as well according to Dr. Stagg.
  3. Using the phone all the time can lead to lower oxygen levels. As if all of the other issues wasn’t enough. If you have trouble sleeping you might as well first check how much you use your phone (especially during the evening)
  4. A couple of next issues are ones that scare/bother me the most. Using the phone a lot can lead to self- inflicted anxiety, depression, concentration issues, and even hallucinations. Now I can attest to almost all of them. Depression not so much all of the other ones yes. The anxiety of missing out something important if I don’t check my phone. Not being able to concentrate on something for a long time because I am so used to see something new every 5 seconds (because I mean Instagram… scroll, scroll, scroll. Oh did the 5 hours already pass, shit?!) Have you sworn you heard a *bling* from getting a message, but you swore that your phone was silent? Yeah, it is silent. That bling you hear is in your head it is almost like wishful thinking because your brain wants you to check your phone again.

If you want to read the article in full please visit: TheList

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I have so many friends why am I so alone and depressed I wonder? Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

The thing is that no matter how much you try to tell yourself that you don’t use your phone too much. You probably do. And I know it is very hard to not use your phone because everyone else does it too but trust me it would be beneficial.

Even if  I have a semi-full day of school or work I somehow have been able to use my phone up to 5.5 hours. That is 1/3 of the time I am awake (about). In that amount of time, I could study my skills in Spanish or use it to research business stuff or an essay or… I am sure you get my point. I could manage about a billion things in 5+ hours but I use it to scroll the phone. Hmmm, where did the time go? I wonder…

But seriously what will it take to realize that no matter how imminent digitalization is, we don’t have to give it all the power. We can form boundaries. Because I don’t think that we have the capacity to deal with millions of people with concentration issues or who are depressed, anxious and having hallucinations.

 

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I swear I got a notification… hmmm Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I wonder if we would spend only 30 minutes a day on the phone how much time would be freed for the things “we don’t have time for”

Thank you for reading! Let me know down in the comments below what you think!

– Alisa

 

Goals, Lessons in life, Personal development

How to change your life: Challenge 3/5

Do you suffer from that pesky little nagging 5-year old voice in your head that says; “But I don’t feel like it” Buy these pills to shut that little brat up….

Well not quite. But let’s try get some perspective shall we. Why is that voice even bad to have?

Let us go way way back. If our ancestors would have lived their lives with the “I don’t feel like it” mentality we would literally be instinct. Imagine how that would work with a wolf running after you and your family or with needing to harvest the crop but “I can totally do it tomorrow” And then tomorrow comes and you realize that the frost killed off the crop… Well, that went well…

And I know that this idea doesn’t work in today’s society because you can literally ask food to be sent to you by uber… but is that really the life you want to live. The issue that I noticed with this idea for myself was that my life was so so so boring. Go to class, check the phone for most of that class, get home be on the computer for most of that time, eat and go to sleep. If you have a due date then just work for 1h like crazy and send a meh text to the teacher… And then the same next day and next week and so on.

But what if you don’t do it that way? What if you actually do everything on time and when you do things you do them with energy?  I haven’t mastered this. BUT I did start doing more things this fall. I seriously worked on forcing myself to participate in things and got to meet new people and gained some serious opportunities. It didn’t really take that much. I mean sure we had to work for example with the volunteer project we had making the event and all but what I gained out of it was so much more valuable than the work I put in.

If you want to check more about this idea of just killing of the phrase “I don’t feel like it” you should check Mel Robbins. She also has a great TED talk on how to stop screwing yourself over:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc

The thing is also that even if you just decide to not do something, you will have it on your mind all the time. Even if just a little. You can’t relax properly. And sometimes you can get away with it. Like if you are sick or if you really have so much to do but if you don’t have that 30 min bath for yourself then you’ll literally hang yourself (Please never let yourself get that far into a burnout)  then you can actually justify having a pause. But if the pause 24/7 just because you don’t feel like doing something, it won’t do you any good.

Let’s see if this way of thinking about it helps;  If you would give yourself a stress grade of 50 on writing that essay right? That would be if you’d just do it right now. This is without waiting at all.

  • Let’s give each day that you don’t do it, but it’s on your mind a stress grade of 5.
  • After ten days that ends up already being 50.
  • Then if you write that essay under time pressure because you have to give it in tomorrow as you waited way too long. That means you have a stress level of 90 because you have to write it NOW. So 50 + 90= 140. That is 90 stress levels more than necessary.
  • Add into that the stress of after because you know you didn’t do a good job so each day you wait if you failed the essay you have a stress level of 20. Waiting for a week would give you 140 extra stress points.
  • All together 280…. instead of the 50 that you would have otherwise had. That is a LOT of stress, that you just don’t need.

So write into your calendar a block of time when you will do it. I will talk about calendar blocking more in the future. But in short, the idea is this. You choose a block of time. Say, from 10 to 12 you do a task. Let’s keep the essay as an example. One block could be research then the next day the block could be making an essay plan and then the day after that actually writing the essay. If you cut the process of writing an essay into manageable pieces you might even lower the stress grade of 50 to way less because you realize the task isn’t as daunting and horrible as you thought.

One last thing, (I swear I will stop bothering you with this soon) if you keep just postponing it and then do it all under pressure and stress, you will be able to tell yourself “See I knew it this would be horrible, I never want to do it again. I will always leave it for the last second so I don’t have to think about it”. That idea is stupid of course because you just made it horrible for yourself because you left it for the last minute. But that doesn’t register and then you are in a vicious cycle.

So just go and do it!  Whatever it is you have right now.

Leave a comment to let me know if I made any sense and like if you like. Don’t forget to follow and see you in my next post 🙂

xoxo, Alisa

Goals, Lessons in life, Personal development

5 Ways to combat laziness

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired

-Jules Renard

1st some science: Science shows that there are people who are more likely to be lazy and those who are less likely and it is a lot to do with our genes. So there is such a thing as “couch potato gene”. Essentially what it does makes us have fewer dopamine receptors, that means that we aren’t going to be awarded as easily for the activities we do by our brains. (And while this is usually related with sports, it is just as accurate with other daily tasks) And really we don’t have many idiots who do things without awards. So when does this become a problem?

Video by AsapSCIENCE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd7wAithl7Ii

When is laziness a problem? 

It becomes a problem when instead of living your life you just exist. At least for me, that is an issue. I have realized that I am bored with life. I just go through the motions. I go to school see my friends once in a while and other than that I just watch YouTube. Don’t get me wrong. Having a pause and go through social media is great, sometimes. It can’t be your life. And really, you watching dog videos or insta pics is something that makes our brains even lazier. Why should you do anything when you get a dopamine hit right from the comfort of your bed. And this is how the vicious cycle starts. So what to do?

What are my 5 tips?

  1. Force yourself to do more things. Put yourself into projects and situations from which you can’t back out of easily. I am doing to projects now where there is quite a bit on my shoulders and me backing out of them would just seem pathetic. Of course, if it would be a life or death thing, it’d be different. I wouldn’t go there if I’d be in a car crash. BUT I am not comfortable just letting them hear an excuse, you know?
  2. This is related to the last tip but: Add things to your calendar so you just don’t have time to lazy around for 5 hours. Look it’s easier to be lazy when you have only like 4 lessons a week and you seem to have so much free time. But what if you work, have a couple of extra projects and then also some of your own goals? This is not to say that you should work yourself to death. But when you don’t have too much extra time you are forced to organize your time. There is no; “I’ll do this later” because you literally don’t have any time later. Or you don’t want to risk it in case of something coming up. And I mean I am sure all of us also want to see our friends right?
  3. Do not sleep in. I know half of you hate me right now because you love to sleep and the other half because you have heard this so many times. But at least for me if I sleep more than 7 -8 hours I feel very sluggish. And sometimes it’s fine. But if you want to stop being lazy becoming sluggish and having a heavy head is not doing you any favors. Most people are at their best when they sleep 6 to 8 hours (depends on your age) and this is something I have found to be true.
  4. If you, however, sleep in, start your day slow, that doesn’t mean all your hope is gone and you have an excuse to be lazy all day. (Sorry old me and anyone who uses this as an excuse) Look just this weekend both days I slept in. I gave myself permission, to be honest, because I have been a bit sick and don’t want to make it worse and after sleeping in I got this sluggish feeling like I often do. Saturday I only started working after 4pm. I went for a walk before that and took a cool shower to wake me up. Then I just got paper and wrote the things that are on the top of my head (those things usually are the ones that bother you the most thus very likely to be a high priority) I didn’t do all on that list but I can honestly say I was productive for at least 4 hours. And that is way more than nothing  I could have done because I didn’t wake up at 5 like I would have liked to)
  5. If you don’t do the little things don’t expect yourself to have the energy to do the big things. If you are too lazy to brush your teeth, wash your face, make your bed, get dressed properly; why the f*** would you have the energy to finish a project or go for a run? All the small things count. You give yourself momentum when you finish the small tasks. And if you start your day by choosing that those things aren’t important why would anything else be? Just be a smelly blob for a day and wonder why you can’t make yourself do anything… I’ve been there and done that and you know what. It isn’t a very positive space to be in. This is why so many highly efficient people are obsessed with routines. If they can finish up a good routine be it in the morning, gym or evening. It builds momentum for the day or the next day.

Bonus tip:  Do not burn yourself up. I don’t want you to faint one day and say it was because I told you to keep yourself so busy you can’t ever be lazy, because that is not my goal at all. Quite frankly once I have perfected my calendar I want to cross out Sunday totally and make it just a funday. It doesn’t matter if it’s for friends or for me to just be in bed and watch a movie. The main point is just for it to be free for whatever I want it to be. Also, this isn’t the only day you have a right to be lazy or to have fun. If your steps for your goals have been met on a Monday by say 4pm you have a right to go out with friends or whatever you want. Don’t have to form an army routine. BUT at first, an army routine might be helpful so that the “couch potato gene” doesn’t get you.

Thanks for reading and good luck with battling laziness!

More posts by me: 

5 things I’ve learned while trying to change my life

Stars sentenced to death

-Alisa

Health, Lessons in life

Everything wrong with school (My POV)

Education is great, teaching all the subjects that our society is prepared to teach kids (if you are born at a right time, to the right family with a right financial situation in the right country…) But there are many problems within teaching itself.  I would like to remind everyone reading that these issues I mention are purely my own experience and something I have noticed with friends or for example from YouTube videos.

One amazing YouTube video that is going to introduce you the issues with today’s schools, is this talk/rap by Prince EA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqTTojTija8 (The video state that Finland’s educational system is so ahead, and that may be the case, but it has been going down quite  a lot and even when it has been at its best it has had some issues. This coming from a Finnish student.)

So, what do I think that are the issues with schools; standardized tests, having a school class that looks the same as 150 years before, teachers not paid enough? What else?

We aren’t taught how to write good notes when we are young. Now, of course, everyone has their own way of making notes the best of the best for them. But while a lot of teachers assume we write notes for their classes no one teaches how to take them. This is not only something I find extremely frustrating. Sometimes teachers do lectures so very fast but never has bothered to explain how to make concise, smart notes that make sense after the lecture as well.

And people not knowing how to write good notes is very easy to notice on all the study tumblers, note taking videos on YouTube and so on. Students want answers, and who is better to push them in the right direction than schools and teachers who should know the most effective ways, right?

Science is against the way schools are now… but still, nothing changes? School starts early when science has proved that not everyone’s brain is functioning up to par in the mornings. Many very influential writers have a totally different schedule, they write when they are the most effective. Yet students are forced to wake up early and study very late.

Some lectures can last up to 3 hours if not more, sometimes pushing through with no breaks, so we get home earlier, but again studies indicate that people can’t concentrate more than 45 minutes at a time and that is on a good day.

Science proves chewing gum, doodling and fiddling with something during studying/listening can help concentrate, yet many teachers and parents tell the kids to stop being restless and “misbehaved”.

Speaking of being restless. If we go back to when I was in preschool or during my first years of “real” school, things weren’t that much better. We were assumed to sit through a class and concentrate, listen to the teacher and answer questions and not really get any reward for it per se.

Now let’s think about this realistically. Tell someone who can sit calmly and concentrate when they are under 10? When older than 10 years old’s have issues too. And WHY would we even make students study like this? I mean again studies prove that the brain goes into a standby mode when we are sitting for a long time and that is when the mind starts to wander or daydream. I am not saying that students shouldn’t learn how to concentrate for more than 5 minutes at a time. But the kid’s age should be considered and making studying active rather than passive, would probably help students learn more anyway.

So, not only do we take away the excitement from learning by making too many rules, but we also make those students learn less because physical movement literally helps walk the information into the brain.

Making us compete for a grade, instead of making us learn information. An A* or 5/5 if you study where I do, doesn’t mean anything, if after the exam you remember nothing. What if that same test would be held a couple of weeks later again, would we have anyone getting A’s then? Studying isn’t about the grade. It is about processing the information, making it part of us for the long-term and then, in a couple of weeks when we are taught something new, we get the moment of the light bulb going BLING – “This is relating to that thing A we learned 2 weeks ago.” This is what learning is about. Not if you know how to answer to A, B, C questions correctly after you learned your textbook by heart.

And one might argue that it is on the students to learn for themselves, and partly that is the case, but I would argue that the way we are taught, and the way society makes letters and numbers and GPA’s such a big deal, we are making studying off-putting. It makes students judge themselves by a number or a grade instead of how much they worked and how many BLING moments they had. And I can say that those BLING moments are satisfying af.

Look education is a right that every child is supposed to have, but not at the price of their identity. The right doesn’t include them feeling like shit because they aren’t as good as the math geek (total respect to that math geek) in their class and because the way they understand sciences isn’t the conventional way. All great breakthroughs in science, biology and even art were made by people who had the audacity to look outside the box. Einstein is told to have been quite bad at school, but he is one of the most known scientists in the world.

Changing the way schools are isn’t easy. But maybe we should start actually asking what do the students need. Even a simple question like, what did I miss when I was a student, is a great start. It would improve our student’s mental health a lot too. Making them see that their opinions matter.

In my humble opinion schools need to teach students to think for themselves. Not teach them to read everything by heart from the book. But make them analyze different information and come to a conclusion. Like playing Sherlock Holmes.  That is only the start though.

What do you guys think? What should we do to improve the schooling system, or do you think that I am totally wrong and schools are doing an amazing job with teaching today’s generation?

Thanks for reading,

-Alisa

Lessons in life

More questions less answers

We go to school, we learn daily new things. We answer thousands of questions. We read for exams that ask us factual questions. Questions we can answer with a date, a vocabulary word, or explaining chain of events in a way or another.  And that is great. It is important to learn how to answer straight forward questions with straight answers. But is that enough?

I do not think so. I believe that it would be so very important for people to analyse more philosophical questions. Questions that like of “What makes you happy, in day to day life?”. Or ” What do you think the world would need to make it a better place?” And these are hard questions. And chances are if you as this from a 7 year old the answer will be candy or more toys, or maybe nowadays it’d be WI-FI. But it doesn’t hurt to ask those things. Because even if one of 10 students actually gives something worthy of using in our day to day life, isn’t worth a shot? And sure, it is possible that no one else would get any value out of their answers. But it would make the students think. Like oh yeah, going on a walk with my dog makes me  happy, or hmmm my moms apple pie is to die for. And isn’t that just as important to teach about or if not teach make them think about it?

And this thinking about bigger questions could be added to actual subjects as well. For example in History. “What little things in this chain of events could have changed everything?” And then people would have to analyse History deeper, and maybe actually understand that history is not just dates and chains of events. It is people, feelings, pains and joys. And I believe in order to actually know history, you must understand the people the thoughts and actions not just the dates and names.

What I am trying to say here is that factual questions are great, but they do not do much on their own. We people question everything. And in order to remember somethings we have to be able to empathise with the situation. The feelings and thoughts we have are like the bones that add the meat to; which is the dates and names that otherwise mean nothing to us. That way we can somehow make these situations, questions and ideas important to us, and maybe even remember them better. For example in maths; “What should your monthly pay be in order to pay for rent that is X for water and electricity that is Y and for other stuff that is Z, remember to add taxes to your payments.”

What do you guys think, should we be asking more complex, feeling induced questions at school as well as in our personal life?

As always thanks for reading

-Alisa

Goals, Personal development

Time management and success +rambling

I will be the first the first to admit. That even thought I am interested a lot in personal development and searching for myself and all that. I have not yet mastered the art of being a good time manager and a successful student. Do not get me wrong, you don’t have to be an A+ student or 4,0 GPA student to be successful, but since my main “job” right now is studying, I would regard getting good grades to be one of the ways I would feel successful.

I, like many others am lazy, and I do not think with a broader vision for the future. Now don’t go clicking away. I swear I am working on it. And this post isn’t me laughing and saying oh but I am just lazy, what ever. This post is more to tell people that if they feel they aren’t on top of things, like everyone seems to be. Not to worry, cos they aren’t alone. And while I am not best at this, I do have tips up my sleeve. (Reminder: Only hard work will pay of, there is no secret formula)

  1. Know thyself. Look I will admit that there are issues like dyslexia and concentration issues and what not, but in the end appart for those, really it is just us. 5 different tabs open on your computer? Are you sure all of them are work related? Phone isn’t on silent because mom will call any minute? So if you don’t answer within an hour she will not let you live it down? You are writing an essay but you just have to answer that friend who is asking if she should wear the pink shirt or the white one, and now you must save her from eternal embarrassment. (Pink duh!) My point is, when you study/ work or anything else if you seem to be lacking time, analyse where it is going and if it really is out of our hands.
  2. Figure out when and how. When are you the most productive? For me it is around 9am–> (that is if I wake up at 6 as usually). For you it could really be in the evening. I don’t really care. Not in the rude way. But you work best when you work best. Any time is a good time to work, if you do it well. I do not believe that the only way to succeed is to be an early bird. The only way to succeed is to work your ass off.
  3. Calendar, organization and a system that works.  And here I am again admitting that I am giving advice that I don’t use 100% myself. I suck at prioritizing and when I organize things it usually lasts for a day or two. But it does help. Clear desk clear mind and all that really does work for me. I do clean up my space quite often. And when I do, I work 10 times better.
  4. Set realistic goals. My boyfriend, if he’d read this would laugh. I always make my goals too big or I have too many of them. Ever had a list of goals (or to-do’s) that looks a bit like this:
    1.  Wake up a 6  go for a 5km run. Eat something very healthy. Ab workout.
    2. Drink 3 L of water
    3. Re organize your whole room/house
    4. Dominate the world
    5. Read 8 books (Not a good to-do/goal list)
  5. Forgive yourself if you do not work as hard that day as what you wanted to. You won’t achieve anything by beating yourself over it. Trust me I know.
  6. Concentrate on doing the best you can. If you only reading one subject is the best you can for today. Then that is great at least you read that chapter. The important part is not to do anything at all. (Check out the Non-Zero method) Get better bit by bit. You will not become a superhero over night (Unless a radioactive spider bites you or some ish)

Being a hard worker and succeeding with what ever you do in life is a lifestyle. You have to learn to become a hard worker/good student/business woman/man etc. It takes hard work, especially if you have never been a hard worker/ inspired person before. You brain works in a loop of habits. You have to change the bad ones and that takes time and effort. But don’t give up. I know I won’t.

 

 

Personal development

How to overcome overwhelm (or not get there at all)

Here we are again. The fall is upon us and the real life slaps us in the face an angry ex. The summer was so fun, but now we are back to the reality of everything. School started, or a new project at work. On top of that you have to do a billion of other things. Go to yoga, update blog, and with work or school (or worse yet both) you have more than just one obligation. And now you wake up at night with a feeling of a constrictor cobra squeezing your insides. Yay!

But what if we don’t have to feel overwhelmed? How to make sure, that you can enjoy almost every-single task you do, and not feel like it is sucking out the juices of life from within your soul?

First make sure you know that this isn’t something more serious like a burnout. If your overwhelm has already jumped over the edge and became a burnout I would highly suggest you check out my post about relaxing, why we should and how to do it. The link is here: https://changedlife365.net/2017/06/03/how-to-relax-and-why/

Now to the topic at hand

  1. Figure out why are you feeling like all the walls are falling on you? List all of the things you are “supposed” to do. Now from that list see if there is anything you can disregard. Do not take tasks on your plate that will make your energy bank get depleted. If you have extra things you just can’t do, then make sure you organize it so that you don’t offend anyone. If it is already promised, make a mental note not to promise things that make you feel like shit. As a side note, do not take away those things that bring you happiness in the long run or are there for your health. So, I think yoga should stay. But proofreading your friends essay for the next day, when you still have to write yours… well that can go.
  2. Now that your list looks more realistic. (Hopefully) figure out what the task monster is. A task monster is one task that seems so big and time consuming you feel like someone punched you in the gut right after reading that task. Now think of ways to make it smaller; more manageable. Make an action plan. All the tasks that are bigger than just 15 minutes of work, can be made into bite sized prices. You don’t eat a full pizza in one bite, so why should you do a huge project/essay that way?
  3. Make sure you haven’t got too much to do on one day. Make a to-do list that you know you can complete. Prioritize. If you have an essay in two days and a project in three weeks you could still work on both but definitely the essay is a priority. Even if the project is supper important. I think a smart to-do list would be: Finnish essay, do project for 30 minutes, activity you like. Or something similar.
  4. Do not do everything in one sitting. No matter who you are, people don’t concentrate well for more than 45 minutes and several studies show that even less. So don’t just sit on your butt for hours on end. Take pauses. But make them count. I can make a post about this later in detail. But if you sit in the same space with the same computer and that vacant look in your eyes, after your pause you won’t feel rejuvenated. Do anything at all but not computer or phone. Make that pause count. Stretch, meditate, visualize your dream life.
  5. Do not beat yourself over things not always being 100% perfect. Chances are that they never are. You can get an A+ on a paper and still have a couple comma mistakes. It isn’t the end. Done is better than perfect. And with every mistake you learn. So don’t beat yourself up. Make sure that every task you do is the  best that you can give at the moment, and then be proud you completed it.
  6. After you have finished the things you had time for that day. Stop. Do not do an all nighter. Do not sit for hours just to get that list less long. You will hate yourself next day and feel more overwhelmed. Make sure your evening has some time for yourself. Take a long shower. Read a book you love. Re-charge for tomorrow. You may wake up a bit earlier if you feel you need the extra time. But do not forget to take care of yourself. Sleep and food and exercise, meditation all of that is like fuel to a car. You can’t disregard it no matter how you have to get from place A to B.
  7. In order to not get overwhelmed or god forbid burnout, have one day a week with at least one afternoon just for you. It can be going out with friends. Reading a book. Making a bath. Going for a longer relaxed gym session (not the squat and go type) doing your nails or anything that will make you feel like yourself.
  8. I think this might be the most important. Do not let your negativity and self pity take you to the path of inflating the issue to be more big than it is. You can’t just not do the things you are obligated to do. So just sitting and crying for days over how unlucky you are and how life isn’t fair won’t help. I mean crying a bit can be helpful, to let out the feeling of frustration but then you have to wipe your face and get to business. No one else will do your work for you. So remember to make your health a priority but do not make it an excuse why you can’t do things.

I just had this feeling of overwhelm and just self pity to be honest. Felt like no matter what I did I was banging my head against the wall. That is why I wrote this post. I hope it helped and I hope everyone will feel energized and productive this fall.

A lot of inspiration for this post I got from this video, it is great, check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDixLnjgRrw

As always, thanks for reading

-Alisa

Goals

Goal Planning

I have a post here for you my friends that I am going to myself fill up with my goals, wishes and vision for the time periods marked below. Why you ask? Quite simply I have TOO MANY goals for a short time period. It has been proven by multiple studies that too many goals will actually hinder your progress. That is why, I plan on dividing my goals from short term to longer term to long as term goals. I want to see what I want to achieve in my life and most importantly track my progress as I go further and further into my life.

(from other blog)
8) Having too many goals.

Some people have too many goals and not enough focus. It’s like they’re standing in front of a dart board with three targets in mind. Hitting just one target is difficult enough; hitting three targets simultaneously with one dart is impossible. Therefore, determine the one goal you are focused on and move forward with that one goal only. Eliminate other goals that are secondary. This is not to say that you should never have more than one goal. Rather, you need to realize that you have only so much time and energy. Therefore, choose the goal that will give you the highest ROE (return on effort) and focus on that one goal first. Once complete, you can then focus on other goals in sequence.” (Link to the full post http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/8259/fail-achieve-goals)

My example plan for goal setting
Goals for next 6 months

  • Wake up earlier; 6 am
  • Maintain healthier diet
  • Being grateful
  • Meditating daily

Goals for the next year

  • Be able to run 5km without stopping (about 3.1 miles)
  • Learn to get out of your comfort zone

Goals for the next 3 years

  • Finish the book you are writing
  • Get back on track with playing flute
  • become an independent blogger

Goals for the next 5 years

  • Start writing your selfhelp guide
  • Learn 3 new languages till at least mediocre level
  • Own a business

Goals/Vision for the next 10 years

  • Own your own home
  • Own your dream car
  • Be able to sustain a comfortable life with traveling

I have stated some examples in this blog post that may or may not be my actual goals just to show an example what I regard as a long process goals (those require more time and patience) and what I regard as short term goals (these obviously are supposed to be easier to achieve).

This may look totally different for you. You might have smaller goals than my example or larger goals, that is totally up to you. Disclaimer: I would also like to remind that these examples will be broad and thus you should work on making yours as specific as possible, or making specific action plans for each goal.

Remember you do not have to have many goals written down, and chances are they might change or you might add new goals to your list in the future. This is normal and perfectly ok. I would hate to be a slave to my goals even if reaching them is super important for your overall well being. But say one of your goals is to travel to Mexico next year summer but right when you plan on going there, your friend is getting married in Australia and she wants you to be her bridesmaid, what is more important then? Surely then you would use your savings to travel to see her? Life is never so clear cut that you could possibly take into consideration everything. The main point is  that you don’t make excuses not to do something and there is a real reason for why you don’t want to/ can’t do it. 

You can use times I used in this blog 6months, 1 year etc. Or you can make ones that work for you. You can have goals for a week, or 3 months. What ever works for you.

Why bother with goals?

There is a lot of positive effects of having goals. It keeps you active physically and mentally. It gives you something else than just your normal routine to work on, and it is so very important to keep your mind on its toes. No one wants to become stagnant in their lives. Too much comfort, and no change can lead to serious consequences including depression.

I would love to hear from you and how you feel about goals. Do you have many goals? Do you feel pressured to reach those goals faster than you feel comfortable. If you would like some tips and tricks to reach goals, that might not have been mentioned before please like and comment on this post. Happy goal planning!

Xoxo,

The Writer

Goals, Reading and Books

How to spend your free time

Last time I mentioned we shouldn’t rush all the time. That it is okay to just do one thing at a time and actually have pauses. But what to do when you want to do something semi smart and not just sit and what TV, game etc. Which is totally okay as well. Once in a while. What smart is there to do and why do something semi productive during your rest time?

  1. Go for a walk: Going for a walk is going to kill a lot of birds with one stone. You get exercise, that in turn will make your brain work better and you will be less stressed.
  2. Read a book, blog post/listen to a podcast that isn’t just about some fiction/love etc. Reading, no matter what you are reading is good for your cognitive health but reading self-help or something similar will not only activate your brain but might give you ideas to your life. Same goes with listening to a podcast. Plus you can actually do something else like clean up at the same time.
  3. Watch a documentary. Watching something smart can just boost your knowledge and broaden your life views and that is always a good thing. Who knows when someone will ask you who was the third roman emperor.  ( It was Julius Cesar by the way https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_emperors#Emperors_after_395)
  4. Talk to a mentor. It doesn’t matter who it is. It could be a brother or mother or someone online who you just met. But talking to someone who inspires you and makes you excited to be better and to work harder can never be a bad thing. This is especially helpful when you are just starting out you personal development journey.  If you have difficulties there  will always be someone, somewhere willing to help and guide you.

Here are some tips that I like to use. I do not always do this and trust me I waste way too much time just on youtube looking at productivity tips. But I try my best to improve with becoming more active mentally and these tips help me at least.

Good luck and until next time,

xoxo,

The Writer