Habit Building | Everything You Must Know For Effective Habits

Habits can be incredibly useful tools but also very very difficult to nail down and maintain. Not only are habits difficult to build, they can also be even more difficult to maintain. Regardless, they are incredibly useful and necessary to enhance and maintain your high levels of productivity. This article walks you through what habits are, how to build them, how to maintain them, and a massive list of habit ideas!

What Are Habits?

Habits are activities that are done regularly or consistently. While I am going to be talking about useful or healthy habits in this article, it is important to note that not all habits are useful or healthy. Many of us have very unhealthy or not useful habits such as biting your nails, avoiding doing dishes, ignoring your physical ailments, etc. While useless or unhealthy habits are not the focus of this article, I wanted to not it because many people attempt build good habits to replace bad habits. This practice is incredibly useful and actually a more effective method in breaking bad habits.

How to Build A Habit

The most important first step in building a habit is to understand what your goal is. Habits are only useful if they have a purpose or an intended end-goal. So, before you can create your habit, create a smart goal! Unfamiliar with SMART goals? I have a whole other article that breaks down these goals, check this article out before you continue. Learn more about SMART goals.

For am example, let’s say your overall goal is to lose 20 pounds in 6 months by exercising more and eating better. That is a great SMART goal and identifies some habits that you need to build. First you need to start exercising more (habit #1) and then you need to eat better (habit #2). Two habits can be a lot for one person at one time, so its important that you start simple. Build one habit at a time before moving an to another habit.

Further, it is important to keep a habit simple–make it easy to do (and to remember to do). For example, if you’re trying to floss each night, keep the floss next to your toothpaste so you see it each time you brush your teeth. If a habit is too complex, it will be difficult to keep up with it. So, don’t be afraid to take small steps to build up to a more complex version of a habit.

So you have some of the rules of habit building, but, how do you actually build the habit? Now that you have a concept of some of the ideas, build on them. A good habit incorporates the following:

  • Simplicity
  • A goal in mind
  • Consistency
  • Accountability
  • Rewards
  • Stick with it

The Best Times to Start A New Habit

You can start a habit at any point in time; however, there are certain times that are better. Some good times to start building a new habit are at the beginning of a month or week (the fresh start effect) or at a big life shift (like moving). These are good times to start building a new habit because you have a fresh supply of new triggers that can remind you to do the habit. Without older triggers and possibly older habits holding you down, you can easily create new habits with positive triggers.  

How to Build & Maintain Habits

Now that you have started to build a habit, how do you continue to maintain it? The best ways to maintain a habit include sticking with it, rewarding yourself, being consistent, keeping track of your progress, and having an accountability partner.

Sticking with it & Being Consistent

Sticking to your goals and being consistent in maintaining your habits are essential practices in maintaining a habit. The point of a habit is to do the task consistently. So, if you fail to be consistent, then you will likely lose your habit entirely. Likewise, if you do not stick to your habit before it becomes habitual, then it will not solidify as a habit. So, to effectively maintain any habit you wish to have, you must be consistent and persistent.

Keeping Track of Your Progress

Keeping track of your habit progress is a great way to maintain your goal. Create a log of the times you’ve completed your goal, tips that work for you, things that you’d consider a barrier to success, and maybe even plan for rewarding yourself at certain intervals.

Have An Accountability Partner

Another great means of maintaining a good habit is to have an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone who can help check in with you regarding your habit, remind you of your goal, go along with your for some of your tasks, and help keep your morale up. They can help you stick to your daily habit by providing both the trigger and reminder to do the habit, as well as the reward. 

If you do not have someone in your life who you can use as an accountability partner, there is a great app and online source for you to use. Supporti is an accountability partner mobile app where you can get a buddy to help remind you of your habit and goals —by messaging you each day– as well as your reward –by being able to tell someone that you did it and having them be excited for you. 

Supporti pairs people together one-on-one as online accountability partners to support each other in pursuit of their goals. When performed consistently over time, little actions add up to big changes. Supporti is designed for people who need a nudge and some accountability to stay motivated to do the little things on a daily basis.

Interested in Supporti? Supporti is offering ElizabethJournals subscribers an exclusive deal! Get more information about and gain access to this offer by signing up to be an ElizabethJournals subscriber below!

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Habit Ideas

Now that you know how to build habits, its time to plan for your habit. If you are stuck, or not sure what kind of habits you’d like to create then you can refer to this list! Is this list not detailed enough? We offer a free workbook for habit-building that includes a detailed list of every habit idea you can think of! Sign-up to get access to this free workbook HERE.

  • Learn something new
  • Meditate
  • Read the news
  • Practice a foreign language
  • Track your spending
  • Walk 10,000 steps
  • Floss
  • Drink 64 oz of water
  • Avoid cigarettes
  • Wake up early
  • Journal
  • Do a random act of kindness
  • Take a risk
  • Laugh out loud

What habits are you trying to build and what is your plan? How will you be held accountable? Get a FREE habit building worksheet to help you build amazing habits HERE.

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Develop Self-Awareness To Boost Your Time Management Skills

Developing time management skills can help you organize your tasks better. But the first thing you should do is to develop self-awareness, here is how!

Everyone is talking about time management skills. Further, there are tools such as getting enough sleep, organizing, and planning that help you polish your time management skills. Professionals and executives are preoccupied not to lose time, as they have many meetings to hold, presentations to make, and proposals to prepare. 

But what if we approach the problem from another point of view? Some people say that they do not have time for themselves or activities that are not related to either work or cozy nights with friends. And they should ask themselves: which is the root cause? The lack of time or their perspective on time?

It turns out that most people that say they do not have time are not aware of the time spent on specific tasks and activities. Because if you say that you do not have time, you won’t have time because you think your schedule is already full. And yes, developing and improving time management skills can help you organize and plan your tasks and activities better. But the first thing you should do is to develop self-awareness. 

What Is Self-Awareness?

It is important not to mix up self-awareness with consciousness. If someone is self-aware, they are aware of how their thoughts, actions, behavioral patterns, and emotions align with their internal standards. Self-aware people are trying to align their actions with their core values, passions, and goals, to create room for development and improvement. The more self-aware you are, the more opportunities for self-improvement you create. 

An Example

Let’s take an example to make things simpler. Let’s say that you are an executive of a company and you need to have an overview of the activities of the company. Further, you need to make sure that the projects you want to create align with the company values, mission, and goals. You need to conduct meetings with sponsors and clients.

You need to supervise the activity of your teams and ensure they do not lose track. However, you might often find yourself doing overtime—not finding free time to attend your kids’ events or enjoy the company of your friends. This comes with dissatisfaction. It is clear that there is a problem with time management and that you can organize your activities better, but how can you do this? 

The answer is: to develop self-awareness. A self-aware executive knows that work is essential because it provides the necessary resources for living. But he or she also knows that family and friends are important, and spending time with them is good for their mental health. Self-awareness means that you are aware of your values, thoughts, and actions and how some of them are incongruent with each other. 

But how can you develop your self-awareness so that you can boost your time management skills?

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Start a Journal 

Either start writing in a journal or, if you already have one, continue using it. Journaling is a useful tool to develop and improve your self-awareness. It helps you become more aware of your thoughts, ideas, and behaviors. This leads to increases in creativity and boosting of time management skills. It leads to self-discipline and a mindful perspective on your behavior and actions.  

How to Use Your New Journal

So, you might be wondering what exactly to write about? It is fairly common that one’s mind goes blank when you see a white paper sheet you know you have to fill. You can start to monitor some easy and accessible behaviors or areas in your life. For example, you can begin to observe your positive and negative feelings of one day.

Or, you can start analyzing changes you want to make in your life and behavior. Like this, all your ideas and thoughts on the process will be on the paper, things that will help you become more aware of them. Try to identify your feelings about a regular day and act upon changing any negative thoughts. You might notice that you spend too much time at work, and you neglect your self-care and personal life.

Self-awareness leads to changes, so do not be afraid to start journaling. Make journaling a habit and set up a time during the day when you submit another entry in your journal. Make it expressive, and do not be afraid to express your deepest thoughts and feelings. You can spend no more than 20 minutes per day, and you will see an improvement in your self-awareness level.

Practice Mindfulness

Becoming self-aware is a process, and it can be acquired through time and practice of healthy and enhancing habits. Mindfulness is another way you can develop your self-awareness, as it is a meditation technique at its core. If you are mindful, you live in the present. And when you live in the present, you are more aware of your thoughts and ideas. Further, if you are more aware in this way, you can quickly act upon changing them. 

There are lots of forms of meditation and mindfulness, and you can choose the one you feel is right for you at the present moment. You can find online guided meditation videos that are of enormous help, especially if you are a beginner.

Some techniques focus on developing a more robust understanding of your inner world. These techniques help you to see how you can improve your awareness as well as how you relate to the ones around you. Other techniques focus on finding harmful thoughts and behaviors so that you can act against them. 

Either meditation technique you choose, it will help you become more self-aware and boost your time management skills. Planning and organizing activities will be easier than before because your productivity will increase too. 

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Ask for Feedback 

Feedback is an essential part of everyone’s life, even though it is a subject that is mostly discussed in corporate settings. If given correctly, feedback can help you become more self-aware of your behavior. Our behaviors are so well ingrained in our way of living and seeing life that we grow less and less self-aware of them. But people that work or live with us can quickly identify destructive habits and their opinion can help you improve your skills. 

It is not easy to ask for feedback. Who would want to hear about their flaws? But constructive criticism can develop and improve self-awareness, which will lead to boosting in time management skills. Even if it is difficult and challenging, ask people around you for feedback.

Start small, identify some behaviors you want to change, and ask for feedback. But be careful: feedback is efficient if it is given by people you trust and respect and whose opinion matters to you. Choose close friends, business partners, your children, and your spouse to share with you their opinion about your habits. Like this, you will become aware of the impact of your behavior on the people that surround you. 

Conclusion 

We should see time management skills from another perspective. Maybe we do not need only proper planning, organization, and communication skills, but to become more aware of the time we spend daily on different tasks. Developing self-awareness is another approach you could take toward boosting your time management skills and changing your perspective on time.

The more self-aware you are of your ideas, thoughts, and behavior, the more room you make for improvement and development. Start a journal and let your thoughts and emotions pour on the paper. Practice meditation to become more self-aware of how you relate to the ones around you and to gain an understanding of your inner world.

Ask people you trust and respect for feedback to become more aware of the impact of your behavior. Like this, you will know what changes to make to boost your time management skills. 

Meet the Author

Tobias Foster is a journalist and editor with more than 5 years’ work experience offering help with dissertations worldwide. Psychology, communication, and business are his passion, and he has a wealth of knowledge in that field. He loves reading science fiction books by contemporary authors.

Take Breaks Why It Is Important To Take More Breaks

Strategic breaks during your work or study hours can give you that extra nudge and boost your productivity. Here’s why it's important to take breaks.

As humans, we are usually limited to two-digit life spans but need to accomplish a lot. You may feel like you have to do too much and shoulder too many responsibilities that need to be taken care of within a small time span. Breaks may appear as shedding away your responsibilities. However, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Strategic breaks during your work or study hours can give you that extra nudge and boost your productivity. Without breaks, you can’t keep a check on your stress level and it becomes a bit too much for your brain to keep up. Here’s why breaks are an absolute necessity during your work and study hours:

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1. Process & Retain Information More Efficiently

Our brains function in two different ways – focused and diffused. In diffused mode, your brain is relaxed and is almost in a wandering or “daydream” state. In her book A Mind for Numbers, Professor Barbara Oakley explains how we can’t function in a focused mode for too long and need to take breaks to shift to diffused mode. While in diffused mode or the “daydream mode”, our brain works at a subconscious level and is able to solve problems more efficiently and helps us to form connections. Focused mode helps us to master the details, while diffused mode helps us to figure out how things work with each other.

With short breaks throughout the day, you can switch between both modes to maintain a harmony that combines execution with creativity. Think about reading a book or watching a movie. You don’t really ponder over the details in every scene or line. After you have finished reading the book or watching the movie you are able to draw connections and make sense of a brilliant piece of work.  

2. Increased Productivity

In his book, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, Tony Schwartz has researched the physiological fatigue that humans have to suffer through after working for prolonged durations. According to his research, it kicks in after 90 mins of work and can make us lose focus. Like a well-oiled machine, your brain needs to rest a bit to recharge itself and refocus on your work. Short and planned breaks throughout the day can help you to achieve that.

You can divide your workday into small targets that can be achieved within less than an hour or a bit more. As you complete your targets, you can take a small breather and relax to allow your brain to juice up and move on towards the next target. This helps you to boost your productivity since you aren’t distracted from work fatigue and get more work done at the end of the day. According to research conducted by DeskTime on a group of employees, the most productive workers take numerous breaks during the workday.

3. Better Health & Overall Well-Being

Sitting on your desk throughout the day is the easiest way to shift away from fitness. According to a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, short 5-minute walks during your workday can be good for you in more ways than one. It doesn’t just reduce lethargy, but lifts moods and improves your overall health. Researchers in the study found out that brief walks every hour is more effective compared to long and intense workout sessions. Sitting at your desk for too long can also have an adverse effect on your blood circulation and expose you to risks like obesity, heart disease, and chronic joint pains.

Moreover, eating your lunch at the desk is more inefficient than you may think. You don’t pay attention to your food and chewing is reduced by drastic levels. This can lead to poor food choices at best and poor digestion at worst. A lunch break away from your desk without the stress of work can boost your afternoon productivity and even prevent the sugar crash in your body that inclines you towards an afternoon nap.

4. Emotional & Mental Health

A Swedish office tradition known as “Fika” involves you grabbing a few of your mates with a sugary snack and a cup of coffee. This may seem odd, but is, in fact, a well-accepted office culture in the Scandinavian country. Employees aren’t questioned by their superiors when they enjoy a “Fika” with their colleagues away from their desks. It helps employees to reboot and promotes good mental health. However, according to a study conducted by the National Charity Partnership, it was found that most employees utilize their allocated rest periods for work.

Half of the respondents admitted that they don’t leave the office during lunchtime. This doesn’t just leave a toll on your physical body but also affects your emotional health since you experience increased levels of anxiety, stress and become easily irritable. Employers understand this as well and last year on 15th May, over 60 companies participated in National Mental Health Break, a campaign launched by Shine, a startup that targets negative mental health problems.

Conclusion

When you study or work for too long without a break you may pull through that day, but it will have a bad effect on your physical and mental health that may lead to burnout. According to research conducted by Gallup, one in five employees feel burned out quite often while almost half of the participants in the study admitted to feeling burned out sometimes. A report from Harvard Business School estimates that companies lose $125 billion to $190 billion each year from healthcare spending for physical and psychological problems of burned-out employees.

Short and planned breaks are very important for both studying and working. It is an inexpensive way to keep health problems to a minimum and maintain high levels of productivity. Both individuals and organizations need to emphasize on the importance of breaks at the workplace and in their curriculum. The goal should be to achieve productivity instead of being bound to the old traditions of long work hours. You can take breaks and choose to work smarter, not longer. 

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How A Timetable Can Help You Reach Your Goals

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Time management, the most vital role in your everyday life. It is one of the most essential and powerful parts of the day for every individual. No matter if you are an employee, a student or a business person. Managing time is a very important thing. This can be done by preparing a proper timetable. Especially, in the business organizations. This helps in improving the productivity of the company. Let me tell you one thing, if you are not sure either you are using your time wisely or not, there is a little chance that you’ll reach your goal. 

We get exactly, 86,400 seconds in a day, and we should make sure that we use these seconds productively and accurately.  Here is a complete guide to time management and making a timetable for all the organizations out there.

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How To Plan An Active Timetable For Your Organization?

1.      Set goals and Prioritize

The primary and most critical part of any good time managing strategy is to set your goals. You need to make sure that the timetable you are making must include the activities that support the goals of your business. Prioritize sanely. Keep the most important things at the start of your timetable.

2.      Manage the Breaks

It is essential to keep the tasks and activities managed.  If you lack the balance in your timetable and jam-pack it with work only, employees will get stressed out, and stress can never lead to productivity. So keep in mind to give breaks at the right time.

3.      Plan Ahead

Once you have the idea about where to set your priorities and breaks, now you are ready to plan ahead. It might be a little tricky and time-taking to make a to-do-list. However, once you are done with this, it’ll relax you for days.

4. Don’t Burden

This is very necessary for your organization. Employees hate working in a suffocating environment. Try to lessen the burden of your employees. Manage wisely and make sure that you make the timetable by keeping everyone else in your mind, rather than the company benefit only.

How Can A Timetable Benefit Your Organization?

Now, as you have the guide to managing a good timetable, let’s see the benefits that it can give your organization;

1.      Meeting Deadlines

Allocate limited time for every task, and you’ll get the work on within the deadlines. When the employees would get the time-boxed functions, in the timetables they complete it no matter what. Especially when they are given relatively enough breaks, daily activities, and an enjoyable environment to spend the time. Besides that, accomplishing the task in a given time will not be a very difficult job, as you are not burdening anyone.

2.      Better Work Quality

Being a devoted employee to the company, the company expects you to provide the absolute quality of your work, along with good criteria. With the precise use of deadline and prioritization according to the timetable, one can effectively convey a framework of more high-grade quality. This assists in concentrating on essential tasks very easily. It allows you to work on them with full focus. Hence, the quality of working is improved day by day.

3.      More Productivity And Efficiency

It is no magic. Time management makes you more effective and productive, naturally. As you have the timetable in your hand, you know how to manage the tasks. This will make you a working professional. Some of the skills are essential in making you achieve your aim as briefly as possible. Complete the tasks without negotiating on the work quality. Your overall struggle and capability to work is tossed away when you’re working on tasks that are not your priority, but adequate skills to manage tasks let you do the assignments that are urgent and high-priority on time.

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4.      Less Stress And Anxiety

When has your work led, it’s pretty obvious that you won’t feel much stressed out and depressed, at least at your workplace?  You know the deadline and you know your task. Just sit back, enjoy your coffee, and concentrate on the specific job. Once completed, you’ll feel so much better and relieved.

5.      Say No To Procrastination

Procrastination is a very bad habit that almost most of us have. “Will do it later” is a big no. The meaning of time management is the effort to reduce the urge to delay. Never procrastinate over essential priorities. Practicing specific time management skills qualify you as a founder, manager, or employee to serve more energetically and smarter rather than harder. It immediately kills the delay by assuring that you’re comfortable with the tasks added in your to-do list and when it needs to be completed.

6.      Improved Quality Of Life

The adequate timetable doesn’t just help your professional life circle, but it can further enrich your life outside of the workplace. Being punctual is a big thing, and not everyone can do that effectively. If you grip everything beneath your command on the professional side, you get more time to enough time to appreciate your personal life too. You don’t have to sit late in the office and ruin your plans. Knowing the fact that assignments and projects are on the right track will bring a sense of peace and tranquility in your life.

7.      More Time For Leisure And Creativity

 Can you remember the last time you took time out for yourself? If yes, then impressive. You have your personal life and professional life under control. But if that is not the case, believe me, time management will help you a ton.  An organization can’t grow until its employees are satisfied with the working criteria and atmosphere. This enables you to create the perfect blend of working smart all day long.

Timetable effectively helps your organization to achieve the goal. It will shed a positive light on the productivity of the company. When the employees learn to take control over time management daily, the organization will automatically gain the strength to get things done in the boundary of the deadlines. Make healthier choices and most importantly, opt for ultimate restraint of your chief priorities.

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Meet the Author

Claudia Jeffrey is the author of this article. She is an excellent Content Strategist, works with Crowd Writer, which is a renowned and fantastic platform to buy assignments online. Claudia is an independent lady who loves to write and travel the world. Being a Content Strategist, she is a great person to talk to.

7 Time-Wasters That Are Stealing Hours from You

If you're sick of wasting time on useless tasks, read this. We'll discuss 7 time wasters that you should cut out of your life if you want to be more productive.

Check out these seven-time wasters that are stealing precious hours from you. It’s time to stop wasting time once and for all!

As much as we try to stick to a schedule, time always seems to slip through our fingertips. In a world saturated with smartphones and social media, it’s no wonder it’s hard to get anything done. 

But, you can’t allow these distractions to get the best of you. You have it in your power to turn down the noise and focus. Whether you’re a busy student or a working professional, it’s vital to stay on task if you want to do well in life. 

1. Television

With the rise of social media, people aren’t watching as much TV. But if you do happen to enjoy the occasional Netflix series, you have to be careful not to watch too much.

To cut back on watching TV, try to limit the number of hours you watch each day. Work on watching your favorite programs only after you’ve completed everything else on your to-do list.

2. Smartphones

We’re all guilty of peeking at our cell phones throughout the day. After all, it’s how we stay connected to the rest of the world. But, checking our smartphones and getting absorbed in social media is a huge time waster. It turns out that we spend an average of five hours a day on our phones! 

It’s easy to look up and realize that you’ve been surfing on Instagram for an hour. How did that happen when you were supposed to be cleaning the house? Oops! It’s important to be aware of how much time you’re spending on your phone. And you need to set some boundaries in order to focus on the task at hand.

Keep your phone away from your desk while you’re busy. You should also put your phone on silent so that notifications don’t distract you. And, set a time to put your phone down before you go to bed each night. That way, you won’t lose out on sleep because you’re reading Twitter threads.

Implementing simple techniques like these will help you spend less time on your phone. You’ll find that you’re a lot more productive when your phone is out of the picture!

3. Poor Organizational Skills 

Are you lacking in the organization department? If you’re having a hard time keeping your apartment organized, figure out ways to solve that. 

Try setting aside 10 minutes or more to straighten things up each day. If you already have a big mess, try to knock it out during a single weekend. Cleaning is a lot easier if you tackle it in one go.

Get your phone, laptop, and calendars organized, too. A clean computer desktop and an orderly calendar will help you plan and work more efficiently.

4. Distracting Activities With Friends

Spending time with friends is normal. But if you use your friends as a way to avoid work, then you have a problem. Quit making excuses and stick to a schedule. If you don’t, you’re never going to get anything done. Eventually, you’ll find yourself falling behind in class or at work.

You might have a friend who pressures you to spend more time with them. In that case, you’ll have to say no. Explain that you’d love to hang out but that you need to do some other things first.

It’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. But before you go out with friends, you have to get ahold of your schedule.

5. Surfing the Internet 

How many times have you caught yourself surfing the internet instead of staying focused? If you’re anything like me, it’s probably a lot.

The problem with surfing the internet is that it’s easy to click from one link to the next without stopping. You start by reading Wikipedia articles and before you know it, you’re looking at menus for local restaurants. 

Instead of getting pulled away from what’s important, set some boundaries for yourself. When you’re supposed to be working, ban yourself from visiting websites that tend to distract you. Yes, that means you’ll have to stay off of your favorite celebrity news blog for a while. 

Time management isn’t easy. But after you get into a rhythm, it’ll become a habit. Before long, you’ll find that it’s easy to stay away from non-work sites when you’re busy. And when you have free time, you may find that you don’t even want to spend it on your smartphone or watching television! 

6. Traffic

Last year, the average American spent roughly 97 hours stuck in traffic. That’s more than four whole days! So, if you have a long commute to work, it’s draining a lot of your time.

To solve this problem, consider moving closer to work. Even if you’re saving on rent by living further away, you’re wasting hours and hours of your time. And you’re spending money on gas!

Do the math and figure out ways to cut back on traffic time. If you can say goodbye to a long commute, you can say hello to productivity time! 

7. Parking

Sometimes it feels impossible to find a good parking spot. Whether it’s at school or work, you can spend hours driving in circles. And when you do happen to find a space, it’s often so far away that you have to walk a mile to get where you need to be.

To avoid this, try showing up early when there are still spots available. You’ll have some time to kill, so bring a coffee and a good book. You can also use this time to prepare for something important. It turns out you can free up a lot of time by finding a premium parking spot early!

Carpooling with friends can also help you save time. This means one less vehicle in the parking lot, which is helpful for everyone!

In Summary

Now that we’ve identified the time-wasters in your life, you can start reprioritizing! It may take a bit to form new habits, but you’ll feel better knowing you’re making better decisions. Stay aware of what activities are eating up your time. As you figure out what’s killing your productivity, you can limit those activities. 

Now, it’s okay to reward yourself with some TV or Instagram at night. But, only reward yourself after you have completed your goals for that day. You and you alone are in charge of your time, so make every moment count!

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Meet the Author

Aaron Hunt is the property manager for Prime Place KSU. He can be reached by email at lincoln@myprimeplace.com or by call or text at 402-858-2858.

Why Time Management is So Important to Executives

There are good reasons for just about anybody to find ways to improve how they use and manage their time, and most people find that when they start working on this, they can become more productive. For people who work in senior capacities in businesses, however, managing time well can be the difference between success, and disaster.

Time Management and Executives

Executives have to oversee progress on multiple projects, make time for lots of meetings and discussions, and dedicate some time to keeping their skills fresh, and keeping themselves on top of the latest news in their industry. This is all on top of other work they might have to do, such as preparing proposals and presentations, and of course, on top of their personal lives and self-care.

Because of this, executives need to use every means they can to track their time and how they use it. Here are some of the other reasons why, if you have your sights set on becoming an executive, you should work hard on time management skills.

How Well Executives Manage Time

In addition to time management making an executive more effective, it is one of the personal skills that senior people in leadership positions are judged so strongly on. Especially when it comes to things like hiring decisions. Someone who is applying for an executive position is likely to be asked what processes they use to make sure that everything on their plate gets dealt with in a timely way, and that they are efficient when it comes to knowing where they’re supposed to be, and who they need to make time for.

People who are looking to become candidates for good executive vacancies will need to be able to convince their contacts at the executive staffing agency dealing with the post they want that they are strong in this area, even before meeting with anybody at the hiring company. Most external applicants for senior roles find opportunities through an executive search firm. Someone like TruPath Search can look into the suitability of candidates before putting them forward for roles which will help the process to move along smoothly.

Executives Can Innovate in Terms of Company Time Management

Executives in some roles may be expected to innovate and lead in terms of company culture and help to boost productivity in general. It is important, then, that they have a good grasp on what makes managing time easier, and which tools and processes can help, so they can make good recommendations that will be implemented throughout the business. Things like meeting scheduling tools, time tracking software and even personal productivity apps can be brought in across teams and even whole companies to create improvements. So, an executive who values time management is well placed to do this.

There are lots of expectations of people in senior roles in business, and this can lead to a stressful working life. However, everything can become a lot more organized and successful when you empower yourself with good time management approaches, such as some of the things we talk about on this site.

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.

Why You Should Keep A Journal In Your Office

An individual who holds a journal is one with an ordered lifestyle. Learn how to keep a journal and why it's important to have a journal in your office.

Writing, keeping records, detailing proposed or intended activities of the day, keeping a physical note of achievable goals and objectives; they say is a speedy way of getting ahead in life. An individual who holds a journal is one with an ordered lifestyle; nothing jumps at him out of his schedule, he or she lives a life close to perfection, as the day is perfectly lined up in such an attractive way. He keeps a mental note and strives to hit the targets for the day. Such is the unrivaled importance of keeping a journal. 

Personal Reasons for Keeping A Journal

There are always many reasons why people keep journals; either as a means of getting life issues off their mind, a method of offloading their thoughts elsewhere, or the many other common reasons which necessitate the many types of journals such as dream journals, travel journals, gratitude journals, daily activity journal amongst others are part of the many reasons individuals keep journals. It has been reiterated that sometimes a journal does not need a specific topic such as daily random thoughts or special life milestones. Many have kept journals for a long time, and some others wanted to, but have just not been helpful too. 

Professional Reasons for Keeping A Journal

In your career, keeping journals is a very essential and highly needed habit. It is a friendly culture that you need to cultivate. One of the many advantages of maintaining journals specifically in your workplace is it helps to keep a daily note of goals and objectives to achieve, and it also allows for your ideas to be recorded as they come. You are hence boosting your capacity in the workplace.  It will enable you to be able to keep a record of the ideas that come to your mind in the course of other responsibilities so you can revisit these ideas later.

The Importance of a Journal in the Workspace

The need for keeping a journal in your office or the working environment is critical.  Most people scribble random notes. These notes can get lost in transit or amidst the hustle and bustle of the workplace. They can also render your workspace cluttered; if you do this regularly, you may be missing out on the actual activity that can improve your job success and keep your workstation organized and efficient. In a recent paper from Harvard business school.

Studies on Keeping A Journal

It was asserted that setting aside 15 minutes to reflect at the end of the workday is part of being a productive employee. Assessing plans and future goals is one of the best ways to do this is to keep a journal. 

Studies carried out on employees of a business outsourcing company about the very essence of spending some extra time journaling; writing and reflecting on the lessons they learned during the day. They did it for about ten days; another group participant only kept working to the end of the day without reflection, writing or sharing whatsoever. At the end of the experiment, it was concluded that the journaling employees performed way better than those who kept working until their shifts ended. This exemplifies the singular act that human beings need to reflect before taking future actions. 

Write It Down

Merely thinking about the ideas that jump at you in your workplace is not enough. Writing these down is the very best of the options. Journaling in the contemporary world may have been termed as trendy only among teenagers keeping stories of their escapades, the emotional ups and downs and what have you. Keeping a diary is, in its real sense an activity that has been and still being used by successful figures on the global stage. Worthy of mention are Oprah Winfrey, artist Andy Warhol, amongst others. Journaling helps in the self-revealing quest in the area of one’s life in need of improvement or amplification as demand may be. 

Individuals have from time to time highlighted how journaling has helped to improve their inner experience. There are stories that tell of how journaling started as a class activity for them and later promoted to bring about improvement in their careers. It has enabled them to notice and recognize hidden, harmful behavioral patterns and brainstorm the needed solutions. 

Why You Need A Journal in Your Office

Keeping journals would sure help in giving a new perspective and a better understanding of individual roles within the work environment. It can also help in givin a new perspective and better understanding of the points of improvement in their communication techniques with others in the workplace. At this point, you have to personally do a self-appraisal to see if keeping a journal in your workplace would be right for you. Journaling is a great and effective way to help you work through issues and ultimately grow in your career. So it’s high time you start keeping a journal and progressively log in your ideas. 

In highlighting the overall importance of keeping a journal, it helps you in the following ways;

Learning your lessons

There lies in every experience either good or bad; the little value of you being able to learn from them. Never forget to pick up the lessons imbued in every encounter within the workplace. By writing down these experiences; noting what worked and what did not, you can improve your efficiency within your workplace. 

The advantage of venting in the right place

For all your experiences in handling your numerous clients, your ever-annoying boss, your annoying colleagues, you can vent in a safe place. Negative feelings, rants, your frustrations can be written in your journal. Bottling your emotions can be very harmful. 

Envisioning the future 

The human ability to rationalize and plan towards the future is a treasured human ability. Journaling further helps to develop this trait. Aptly considering the most importantly held goals and objectives while picturing the scenarios where they can be achieved is a fundamental reason for journaling in your workplace. 

Listing good advice from your mentors

There are incredible people everywhere in life. There are experts in every sphere of human endeavor. Hence, you can list these individuals who are your mentors in your journal. Some of your mentors can be close with you; assisting where necessary. When you get great tips or ideas from your mentors, your journal serves as a perfect medium to write it down. You can then refer to it any time in the future. 

Meet the Author

Tess Cain loves being organized. If she is not working at office.eco, then she’s dedicated her time to staying clean, clutter-free and organized. She also likes the outdoors, working out and volunteering.

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3 Reasons to Hire Someone to Create Your Bullet Journal

Bullet Journaling isn’t always as easy as some people make it seem. To create the journal you have envisioned, it can take up a lot of your time. Additionally, it may require you have better, more expensive tools. Then, what happens if you don’t have the skill or time to practice the skill to have the journal of your dreams? If any of this sounds familiar, then maybe you would benefit from hiring someone to make your journal for you. Here are three reasons you should hire someone to make your bullet journal for you.

Why You Need To Hire Someone To Create Your Bullet Journal

Check out these tips and reasons!

It Will Save You Time

The first reason you should hire someone else to make your journal is to save you time. In this day and age, we are so busy. It can sometimes be difficult to find time to create bullet journals. Because this type of planner is so customized and hand-made, it requires you to chisel some time out of your schedule to create them. If by chance you are not able to make time to create your journal, you can hire someone else to create it for you.

They Use Tools You Don’t Have

The second reason you might want to hire someone to make your bullet journal is a lack of resources. Having certain bullet journaling tools can get expensive. While these tools are entirely worth it for the quality of your journal, you may not have the resources to purchase them. If you are unable to get the items you need to create the journal of your dreams, you might want to hire someone who has these tools to create your bujo for you. Generally, if someone is creating a completely customized product such as the bullet journal, they have the proper tools and means to create quality equipment. When we create our custom journals, we are sure to use top quality pens and notebooks. Then, if we find we need another tool to meet the needs of the customer, we purchase them!

It Will Be More Professional or Creative

The final reason you should think about hiring someone else to create your bullet journal for you is because of a lack of skill. Perhaps you absolutely love the more creative style of a journal, but you don’t have the skill to create it, you can hire someone to do it for you. Perhaps you want to learn those skills, but you do not currently have the time to learn? That is another perfect scenario in which you should hire someone else. That way, your productivity, and planner don’t suffer, but you are no longer under intense pressure to learn a new skill.

Bullet Journaling Services We Offer

Are you in need a professional journaler to create your bullet journal for you? Well, look no further! We create completely custom bullet journals and other planning products right here at Jihi Elephant. Here are some of the services we offer!

A5 and A6 Sized Custom Bullet Journals

This are our most popular custom bullet journal option. We offer completely customized bullet journals in A6 and A5 sizes. You can pick the notebook size, notebook brand and color, ink color, layouts,etc.! However, if you prefer a notebook or color we do not have listed, contact us and request it, we’d love to work with you to make the journal of your dreams!

Pocket Calendar

The pocket calendar is a more simplified version of the bullet journal. This planner is much smaller and has fewer pages. Additionally, it is a softer cover meant to fit neatly into a purse or wallet.

Custom-Made Planner Printables

The last custom bullet journal service we offer is custom printables. While I have a wide range of pre-made bullet journal or planner printable pages for you to choose from, you can also request something just for you!

Still, Prefer to Create Your Bullet Journal Yourself?

If you are not convinced to hire someone to create your bullet journal for you, then you should at least put in the effort to learn how to journal properly. If you want to create your own journal and don’t know where to get started, check out our Bullet Journaling for the Overwhelmed Beginner course! In this course, I take you through a step by step process to create a bullet journal while remaining stress-free!

Bullet journaling is time-consuming and sometimes requires skills and tools you may not have. For this reason, it might be beneficial for you to hire someone else to create it for you. Just remember, if you hire someone else to create a completely customized product, it may take longer than purchasing a generic planner from your local stationery shop. Regardless of the time it takes, it is surely worth it to have a planner made just for you!

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The Science Behind the Bullet Journaling Craze

The Science Behind the Bullet Journaling Craze

In the past few years, an innovative planning tool has been changing the way a lot of people plan out their upcoming days, weeks, and months. Bullet journaling is an interesting new way to organize your time and tasks. These journals work by the user writing down tasks daily and then either checking them off, scheduling them, or relocating them. To someone unfamiliar with a bullet journal, it will look quite chaotic and confusing at first, but some science supports users’ claims they are effective.

Bullet Journal Basics

In short, a bullet journal is made up of different components, or as the creator defines them, modules. There’s a future log for long-term plans, a monthly log that works similarly to a calendar, and a daily log for more in-depth, specific tasks for the day. An index and a system of symbols organized these modules.

A person puts their whole life into their bullet journal, and this is its biggest strength. The thinking is if all your important tasks are in one location, then you’re much less likely to forget about something. It’s the journaling equivalent to placing your wallet, keys and cell phone together in a bowl, so you don’t forget one when you leave the house but on a much higher level.

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Benefits Of Bullet Journaling

We already know that there are significant mental health benefits to journaling of any kind. So, it follows that a tool with as much organizational potential as bullet journaling should be even better. A bullet journal functions so well because it allows its user to put everything in one place. It can be thoughts, ideas, new facts, important information, etc.

According to research from the Journal of Experimental Psychology, journaling helps people by acting as an external extension to their memory. Your brain can only juggle about three things at any given time without losing its effectiveness; a bullet journal may help its user bypass this limitation.

The Zeigarnik Effect

Bullet journals may also be a way of hacking the Zeigarnik Effect. This term describes the psychological phenomenon of people having an easier time remembering uncompleted tasks than completed ones. When you’re trying to focus on the task at hand and keep remembering that thing you’re supposed to do later, that’s the Zeigarnik Effect.

Writing down tasks in a bullet journal seems to alleviate this problem, as does writing down a to-do list. Once your brain realizes you’ve got a plan in place to accomplish the task, it stops reminding you about it. This phenomenon allows you to be more productive with a clear head.

Mental Timeouts

Doodling and writing in your bullet journal also can give you a break from whatever work you were doing previously. Sometimes just taking a bit of time off from a task can help you come back more focused and productive. According to the study, conducted by Jackie Andrade, a psychologist, doodling helps you to remember over 80% of information, as well as, to become more concentrated and focused. Thus, taking some time with your bullet journal when you’ve hit a brick wall, or are having a tough time focusing, is useful.

Every now and then I need a break from work. I find that taking a walk, sketching, but especially doing some updating in my bullet journal are great ways to get refocused,” shares Sonia Alston, a tutor, “My bullet journal gives me a creative time out that brings me back to the task at hand, fresh and focused.

The Science Behind the Bullet Journaling Craze

Achieving Goals With Your Bullet Journal

Using a bullet journal helps to achieve your goals and dreams. According to a study conducted by Southern Methodist University, writing about your future goals makes people happier. Additionally, you are more tend to do your best to make your dreams come true. It helps to focus on the most important tasks which lead to success and make you more productive and effective.

Also, bullet journals allow your brain to mentally refresh, and that’s great for allowing you to concentrate better. Even just the simple fact that you’re writing on a physical piece of paper helps. Writing with your hand allows you to retain more. Also, the notebook gives you flexibility and freedom to build on ideas and be creative.

Conclusion

Bullet journals are not necessarily for everyone; no organizational tool ever is. Bullet journals are a fascinating mind hack; if they work for you, they work for you. They’re a new innovative tool, so they haven’t been studied directly, but the science that relates to the concepts they represent is quite substantial.

They work not just by organizing, but by becoming an extension of your natural memory; reminding you of things by having you see them when checking in on something else. The simple phenomenon of the way they encourage you to switch between different kinds of tasks also seems to enhance your concentration. Whatever it is that makes them so useful; people swear by them, so, it’s worth trying one out and seeing if it works for you.

The Science Behind the Bullet Journaling Craze

Meet the Author

Content marketer Michael Dehoyos is usually found assisting organizations in their digital marketing approach. He also helps with email marketing. Michael is an editor at PHD Kingdom and Academic Brits, and a regular contributor to Origin Writings academic service.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

In today’s world, it’s crucially important to continue growing professionally. For this reason, so many people try to balance work and studying at college.

If you also have chosen this challenging path, you should learn how to cope with the stress to live your life to the fullest. If you are looking for useful tips on how to improve your overall performance and better your state of mind, keep reading.

Establish Healthy Eating Habits

When you immerse yourself in work and studying, you burn lots of calories. For this reason, you should eat healthy food and control your calorie intake. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that your body gets enough nutritive elements to keep functioning effectively.

Doctors and scientists state that individuals who experience physical and mental stress must avoid eating junk food and fast food. Further, it’s highly recommended to increase the intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and superfoods. If you feel exhausted, you should add the following products to your grocery list:

Must-Have Groceries

  • Blueberries
  • Olives
  • Almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Quinoa

These products contain vitamin E and A, omega-3, antioxidants, copper, magnesium, selenium, and iron. Therefore, if you consume them regularly, you will boost your vital energy.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

Exercise Daily

Only a person, who is physically and mentally healthy, can cope with the balancing work and study. So if you want to be healthy, you have to exercise daily.

It doesn’t matter whether you attend Zumba classes or work out at the gym – be sure that you enjoy the process. The sport will help you to decrease the stress level, and you will feel yourself much better.

Don’t say that you can’t go into the sport because you don’t have enough time. However, it’s not an excuse. You can always find at least 20 minutes a day to make some basic exercises or practice yoga at home.

Get Enough Sleep

Your mind and body require at least 7 hours for recovering after the long day. Further, a lack of sleep can cause anxiety, depression and even more severe mental health issues. So, if you want to live a happy life, you shouldn’t sacrifice your night’s sleep under any circumstances.

Moreover, it’s okay to take a 30-minutes nap during the day. It will not affect your nighttime sleep but will improve your mood and performance.

Spend Time with Friends and Family

Balancing is all about setting the right priorities. First, find your priority number one:  your work, studying, family or friends? You need less than a second to answer this question.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t let your busy schedule ruin your relationship with your loved ones. Further, you should always find a little time to talk to your close people on the phone or to meet them in person. Even if you live far away from your family, you can use Skype or any other services to have an in-depth conversation.

You should understand that the people whom you love provide you with great emotional support. They help you to overcome all the difficulties in your life. If you ignore your family and friends, you will not feel happy while working and studying.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

Take Time Management Seriously

Time is the most precious resource, which people have. Do you agree with this statement? Try to imagine that you get 24 precious hours every day. Then, you have to decide how to invest them in building a happier future.

You should learn more about modern time management strategies and apply them to your real life. Doing so will help you to become the best employee and the best student.

The problem is that if you have poor time management skills, your attempt to balance work and study can turn to be a disaster. Further, to prevent the troubles, you should learn how to create an extra hour in your day.

Work Remotely, If Possible

If you are a waitress or cashier, you can’t work remotely. However, if you are an accountant or web designer, it’s likely that you can perform some of your tasks from home.

Be brave and talk to your boss. You should clearly explain why you would like to work remotely. If you are good at negotiating, your boss will allow you to work from home at least one day a week.  As a result, you will get a more flexible schedule and will save a few precious hours.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

Don’t Hesitate to Ask For Help

Sometimes, when you have to work and study all day long, it feels like your life is passing you quickly. This is a terrible situation, and you have to find a rational solution.

Don’t pretend that you are a superhero, because you are not. You are an ordinary person, so you shouldn’t feel awkward asking for help.

Do you lack time to walk your dog early in the morning? Well, you can pay $5 to your 12-years-old neighbor, and he will do you a favor.

Do you want to go to the friend’s birthday party, but have to write a research paper tonight? It’s not a problem! You can get help from the best college writing services online.

Conclusion

Professional growth is essential for your success, and it’s a fact. However, there are a lot of beautiful things around you, which makes your life better. Make sure that your work and studying at college don’t take all of your time. Additionally, be sure that you can enjoy all the beauty the world has to offer.

Author Bio:

Daniela McVicker is a blogger and writer with a degree in social psychology from Durham University. Daniela primarily focuses on writing about self-improvement. Additionally, she has authored several insightful and motivating articles like “Making The Right Choices Every Day” and “7 Steps To Open Yourself To New Opportunities & Possibilities”.

Disclosure: This post is a guest post. Another anonymous party authored this guest post. All posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

An Introduction to SMART Goals | What Are They and How to Use Them

We’ve all got goals, some big and some small. While goals may be as seemingly insignificant as finishing a cup of coffee the first time without having to microwave it, goals also might be as broad as growing a business. Whatever your goal is, think about it. How did you create this goal? What are your steps to achieve this goal? I know this can seem daunting at first, but there is a way that will allow you to create worthwhile goals, just the right amount of challenging, and that you can accomplish and set out to achieve! If you’ve never heard of SMART goals, you’ve come to the right place. If you have heard of these, you’re still in the right place. Let’s dive in!

What does SMART stand for?

When creating a goal and the ways you will achieve it, using this acronym can help you get started. The “S” stands for Specific, the “M” stands for Measurable, the “A” stands for Attainable, the “R” stands for Relevant, and the “T” stands for Time-bound. These are all things to consider when coming up with your goals and how to tackle them.

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image credit: IvoryMix

“S” is for Specific

Break down the goal. In this stage of SMART, you’ll ask yourself what exactly your goal is aiming to achieve. Come up with a list of specifics, including the exact things that to accomplish. It’s also important to recognize if others are needed to complete this goal as well as where it will take place. You can also ask yourself the “why” question of why you want to accomplish this in the first place.

Example: I want to grow my small business by taking on two new clients per month so that I can have a fuller workload and pay my rent. Doing this will involve me, my assistant, and future clients.

“M” is for Measurable

How will you know if you complete the goal? It’s essential that you come up with a way to measure your success and where you stand in your journey to achieve your goal. You will need to recognize what your future action steps are, how much more needs to change to reach it, and how you will measure success.

Example: I will know I succeeded when I have two new clients per month. To get here, I will need to set up checkpoints with myself each week to see if I made any progress. I may only be halfway there, but I know the next two weeks I am capable of completing the goal.

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image credit: IvoryMix

“A” is for Attainable

It is finding the balance between what is challenging and do-able. You will want your goal to be right in the middle of the “This is too easy” and “This is too hard” mindsets. Just like Goldilocks, find the goal that is just right. Try to avoid jumping to extremes, but also avoid going too easy on yourself. It’s important to challenge yourself positively. Think about the resources you have or will need to achieve the goal, if it is of reasonable difficulty, and if it is something you will be able to complete.

Example: If I were to aim for ten new clients per month, I know it would be impossible because I don’t have the time to do that. If my goal were to get one new client per month, it would be too easy. Landing on two allows me to focus on my goal, and I can always edit my goal moving forward. If I focus my time on reaching out to new clients, I can reach this goal.

“R” is for Relevant

Is this really what I should be aiming to do right now? Your goals should come into play at the right time. If you’re still in school, don’t make your goal something that isn’t relevant to your next steps. Make sure your goal is something meaningful to you as well, as it will make it difficult to work towards a goal that you are just doing to impress others or because you feel like you “should” do it. We’ve all been there! You have to recognize whether or not you are willing to do what it takes to complete the goal.

Example: This goal of two new clients is something I want to commit to achieving. Others told me to just wait and let new clients come to me, but it is meaningful for me to put myself out there, and I am committed to achieving this goal.

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image credit: IvoryMix

“T” is for Time-bound

There’s never a perfect time – but it does matter! Set deadlines for reaching this goal, or set up milestones along the way. Outline exactly when you will reach certain milestones, and come up with a plan (if you need ideas, check out my planning section here). There should always be a time frame; otherwise, it will be hard to stay motivated to get things done. Think in baby steps: what to do today, in a week, in a month, and beyond!

Example: My goal for two new clients a month needs to be reached by the end of six months. Then, I can calculate exactly how much more work I am able to take on and see if I need to change my goal. Today, I can start by reaching out to potential clients.

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In Summary…You’ve Got This!

No matter what your goals are, I hope you were able to use this introduction to SMART goals to help you see just where this method of goal creating can take you. I’d love to hear from you about your methods of using SMART goals, and if you have any tips or tricks to share.

As always, thanks for reading!

This post was written and researched by Caroline Johnson of Line Writing Co. Editing and formatting done by Elizabeth of Jihi Elephant

Daily Activities That Can Help Raise Motivation

Motivation in human beings is incredibly important. It is the thing that makes most things in our lives happen. In other words, if we don’t have the will to do something, we won’t do it at all. And motivation is what drives our will, what makes us do things to change something in our lives.

That’s why it’s essential to master motivation on a daily basis, to be able to inspire ourselves even if sometimes nothing goes our way. Motivation is what will move you to create new experiences and grow as a person. So, you need to know how to evoke motivation through a number of daily activities and help yourself.

1. Eat some chocolate

The effects that chocolate has on our brains are no myth. The release of dopamine it causes increases your heart level, which then increases your motivation. And not just that – it also increases serotonin and phenylethylamine that bring you both calm and the much-needed stimulation. So, in just one minute after eating chocolate, you’ll be feeling positive effects.

5+ Ways to Promote Relaxation At Home house plants houseplants

2. Surround yourself with green

We all know certain colors affect our mood, and in only 10 minutes you’ll get a boost in motivation if you surround yourself with color green. And how can you do that when you need it? Well, easy – go outside! Take a short walk in your garden or go to the nearest park. Just go to a place filled with bushes and trees, and you will feel the motivation rising in you

3. Connect motivation to good feelings

It’s hard to feel motivated if you’re doing something you don’t like. The trick is to connect that annoying activity with something positive, like a favorite song. So, every time you need to do something you’d rather skip, just play your song and soon the feeling you get when you listen to your favorite song will prevail the feeling of annoyance because of the activity, and you’ll start feeling motivated.

4. Change the question

Sometimes when you get stuck, and your mind runs out of ideas, an easy solution could be to just change your focus. And in order to change focus, you need to change the question you have been asking yourself. It is usually a negative question, for example, “What is wrong with this situation?” or “What am I doing wrong?” Of course, you’ll find tons of answers to that, meaning just listing negative things and you won’t get motivated that way. Instead, change it to a positive question, like “What is good/right about this situation?” You will quickly start finding all the good things about it and slowly feeling your motivation is back.

5. Split your to-do list in half

If you take on too many things to do on a daily basis, you are bound to be disappointed, demotivated and angry at yourself. You need to be more realistic about how many things you can get done in one day, so the road to success is to cut that list to half. That way, you’ll enable yourself to do all of the things on the list, which will make you feel good about yourself and instantly motivate you to take on the tasks of the following day. It’s easier to be motivated when you have already achieved something and empowered yourself.

6. Move your physical boundary

To be a complete person, you need to awaken your motivation when it comes to testing your physical limits, no matter how small they are. Start with giving yourself a task on a daily basis that includes, for example, crossing a bicycle route that you’ll frequently change and maybe even make longer as the time passes. To avoid any problems like a flat tire (that will affect your mood and, of course, kill the motivation flow) and bad terrain, you should be prepared for all conditions. Buy high-quality tires, carry a bike pump with you and get a good mudguard – there won’t be anything to interrupt you daily motivation route.

7. Get your focus

This modern tech time brought us 24/7 connection with the whole world, making us constantly swarmed with messages, emails and video calls. The internet and all the gadgets we carry in our pockets and keeping next to us while working distract us from what we are trying to do, interrupting our chain of thoughts and preventing our motivation to spread its wings. So, next time you are trying to do something meaningful and are in need of motivation, disconnect from all the sources of unnecessary information and fun and get to work. Focus.

Final words

Small tricks that you do in 5-15 minutes can do wonders for your everyday motivation. Of course, they won’t all work with the same intensity for you, and maybe some of them won’t work at all. You just need to find out which ones do you well the most.

Meet the Author

This post was written by Audrey Taylor. Audrey was born in San Francisco and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. Marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full – time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Graduated from Queensford college, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. Traveled across Europe. Her hobbies include home decorating, fashion, travel, music, old movies.

Keep Productive All Day With These 7 Tips

Being productive throughout the day can be such hard work when you got to organize your day and plan your day thoroughly (which takes time). But really, it isn’t! Sometimes, even if you don’t feel productive in those days, try to experiment with what works best and what doesn’t and keep it a daily habit in your life.

Tips to Stay Productive All Day

Don’t be afraid when you missed a day or two. I know it took me some time to get used to the habit and when I failed to do so, I start again and continue on these habits. Seriously, I’m only just a student! Sometimes, work can build up, and I have to have late-nighters writing up two essays equalling up to 2500 words and a project that I need to complete within the next week. But the reason you’re here is that you want to find out ways to be more productive throughout the day and end the night feeling accomplished.

1. Wake up early

The recommended time to wake up is 5 – 7 am. If you want to wake up early, then you got to sleep early (that’s how it works, folks). I’ve tried waking up at 5 AM before, and the end result came to me finishing off more work than I usually did waking up at 8-10am.  Oh yeah, I also got more time to myself later in the afternoon, and I felt much more accomplished. And can we talk about watching the sunrise? It’s so uplifting to see the sun waking up with you. Oh, nature. And when you use an alarm, make sure you don’t snooze or hit that snooze button!

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2. Use a Planner with a To-Do List

Having a planner is a great way to keep you on the right track when it comes to planning out your day. You can either use a physical, digital or even just a piece of paper for writing down your to-do list. There are plenty of free digital planners that are available in the app stores that can be installed on your phone and computer.  I personally like to use physical planners because I don’t have to worry about losing my data if my phone or computer crashes (this actually happened back then when I forgot to back up my data. Oops).

3. Eat a Good Breakfast

Start the day off by making breakfast with food that is high in protein like eggs, beans, dairy products and meat and add in vegetables and fruits (of course). You got plenty of time to do this because you’ve wakened up early. Protein helps repair cells, builds tissues in our system and is important for our bones, muscles, cartilage, blood, and skin. With Protein, you’re also inputting energy into your system so you can focus on what you’re doing.

7 Ways to Keep Productive All Day

4. Meditate after you wake up

Ever since I started meditating at 6 AM each morning, the way I handle my day better improved. It helps to reduce anxiety, stress, and insomnia that I use to have. Start meditating in the morning after waking up because you’re well rested and ready to start the day. Everyone is still asleep giving you a reason to have peace & quiet with no distractions.

5. Exercise

Exercising releases adrenaline, keeps you fit and makes you more motivated and more likely to be productive. Say, go for a run, jog or stroll in the morning or later during the day. I take a stroll later in the day because depending on the weather, mornings are always freezing! You don’t have to go to the GYM all the time (unless you want to). You can exercise at home using free apps or looking up on Pinterest.

6. Make Your Bed

We can agree than organizing, or spring cleaning is like the best way to feel motivated, confident and happy. Being organized can also increase your productivity. You will start the day off more accomplished since you just did your first task; making the bed! Decluttering helps you reduce anxiety. It involves physical activity, so you’re keeping fit. Decluttering is also mindfulness because it doesn’t take a lot of thinking and creates confidence and self-efficacy.

notebook on blanket

7. Set a Goal

Lastly, set at least 3-5-day goals or make a weekly goal that you want to achieve that day. The purpose of setting a goal is to make yourself feel accomplished, motivated, satisfied, focused and confident. Confident that you could achieve anything as well as point you in the right direction toward being more productive. Isn’t that what life’s purpose is?

I always set a weekly goal and write down things that I have accomplished every Sunday. Sundays are like my only days off, but depending on you, you can either do this at night or whatever time fits you best.

7 Ways to Keep Productive All Day

Meet the Author

Bio: This post was written by Ellen of ZyraKuma. Ellen is a blogger and owner of her lifestyle site ZyraKuma. She writes posts about lifestyle, self-care and blogging tips. She is currently a student in Australia who is pursuing a career in Illustration or Graphic Design. Ellen loves to draw, play video games, read and help people. She also has a pet duck. You can view more from ZyraKuma on Instagram, Pinterest and, Twitter

A 3-Layered Study Plan to Green Light Your Education

The fact you’re reading this post suggests you’re struggling to get your head around college organization. Fear not. A shocking number of students feel as though they could drown under that pressure. And, it’s no surprise when you have teachers telling you that how well you do here will dictate your life. Talk about stress! Read on for more on our 3-layered study plan!

3-Layered Study Plan

One of the main things we struggle with as students are finding the time to study. Sadly, that’s about the most critical part of your college career. Even if you attend all the lectures and their extras, not making time to study could see you struggling to survive your first year of college.

But, that knowledge may leave you asking, how can you find the time? If you’re already struggling (and most students are), how can you create space for even more work? It might seem like an impossible task, but trust us; it isn’t. In truth, all you need to do to get on top here is a bullet journal and a three-layered study plan like this one.

Layer 1: The Time You Don’t Have

The blank page is the most daunting thing about starting a bullet journal. How do you even begin to section your life into a workable plan? Well, jotting down the times when you know you’re busy could be a good start. This will help you develop at least some idea of your timetable, and that’s most important of all. So, step one is to create pages which outline everything from your class times, any educational trips you have in the pipeline, and even planned social occasions. After all, meeting up with friends is also essential if you want to keep your sanity. Use a red pen for these areas to show that they’re no-go’s. You won’t need to worry about those hours because they’re taken and accounted for.

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Layer 2: The Time You Could Have

Next, move onto the time you could use for study. By this, we meantime which isn’t strictly free but could still be put to good use. You know the type of stuff; lunch hours, commute times. These are periods of your day which are taken, but only loosely. Fill these in yellow. Then, you can leave aside quick-fire study tasks for occasions like these. If you have an activity which will only take half an hour, set it aside and don’t pick it up until there’s a yellow square on your study horizon.

Layer 3: The Time You Do Have

The hard part is out of the way. You’ve separated the time you spend doing stuff in your day. Now, grab a green pen and get into the body of your study plan. If there are white squares left on this journal page, consider using them for your studies. Of course, we all need downtime. Make sure to leave yourself at least one blank space a day. But, the rest of your schedule should be used to get your studying done!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

How to be Productive When You Don’t Want To

Being productive when you do not want to be is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. Finding the motivation to complete the tasks you need to might ultimately come down to one thing: taking care of yourself. A lack of motivation might also be a lack of interest. This article will give you everything you need to be productive when you do not want to be. This post may contain affiliate links

Routine | Create Habits

One of the most effective ways of being productive when you don’t want to is to create a routine and build habits. If you wake up at the same time every day for an extended period, it will become natural, and after a while, it will be more effort to vire from your routine than to wake up as usual.

Create a regular routine. For example, every day I am up between 7:30 and 8:30 AM. At this point, I get up, use the restroom, wash my face, and get ready for the day. Once I am dressed, I make my bed and open all of the blinds to let in the fresh sunshine. At this point (Usually approaching 9 AM), I make myself breakfast and boot up my laptop. I go into each morning with one large task in mind to complete, I then finish that task first. I then close out my day with dinner around 7 PM, yoga for 20 to 60 minutes, and a shower.

Having this routine for a long time, I have begun doing this without even thinking about it. Before I know it, I am productive and following my regular plan. Building this routine was not easy, it was hard, but one day something just snapped, and it was more uncomfortable not to follow my routine than it was to be productive. Create a routine that fits your needs and practice it until it becomes a habit.

Self-Care | Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is essential to being productive. If you do not take care of yourself, and as a result don’t feel good, you will not want to work. I am at my least productive after eating a bunch of junk food, not having slept well, or skipping my regular exercise.

What makes you feel most sluggish? Whatever it is, cut it out—Do NOT do it anymore. Make a point to find a replacement. For me, I replace candies with yogurt and fruit. I replaced soda with carbonated water. Find alternatives that work for you.

Additionally, it is essential to have a self-care plan. You need to work this plan into your schedule. Some items on my plan include washing my face every morning and night, eating a healthy breakfast in the morning, doing daily yoga (even if it’s only for 15 minutes), watching YouTube videos before bed, and getting to sleep at a decent time. Create a self-care plan full of things that make you feel better, and implement it into your routine!

Need more self-care ideas? Check out my 30-day challenge or these 10 quick self-care ideas!

Positive Quotes to Brighten Your Mood

Enjoyment | Positive Outlook

One of the biggest hindrances of productivity is a lack of interest in what you are doing. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you won’t want to do it. Makes sense right? So what do you do about this if what you need to do is your job or required? Try to look at everything you find aweful with a positive twist. Reward yourself for completing these tasks. If you have boring paperwork to complete, try telling yourself that once you complete the paperwork you can get up and take a lap around the office, or you will get that raise you’ve been waiting for. Set up a reward system for completing boring or menial tasks.

If you think that you might be burnt out of your job or if you hate your job as a whole, consider talking to a career counselor about possibly changing up your career. Finding satisfaction in work is incredibly important for a fulfilling and happy life. People spend a large majority of time at work, more than they spend doing anything else. If you hate it, perhaps you need to find a different place to work or look into going back to school in a field that you will actually enjoy—there is absolutely no shame in this! It is essential to find a positive outlook about your tasks to be able to complete them productively and if you just can’t be positive, look into changing up your career!

If you just don’t want to be productive, combat it by creating a routine, taking care of yourself, and looking at your work with a positive frame of mind.

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5 Essential Note-taking Strategies & Tips for College

Note-taking is by far the most difficult part of reading for college students. Note-taking is tedious, boring, doubles the time it takes for you to read a chapter, and you generally cannot understand them later. We all know how reading can benefit us. Below are some ways to efficiently and effectively take notes. These strategies will make studying your notes easier and will keep your notes organized.

This post may contain affiliate links

Textbooks and Plants

Skim

The first note-taking strategy is to skim. I mean two things when I say skim. The first is that I recommend an extremely brief skim of each section before you read them. During this initial skim, take mental note of any bolded or italicized words. These are the words you are going to want to pay particular attention to when you’re reading.

Second, by skim I mean skim instead of in-depth reading. The more important bits of the reading is the beginning and end—the begging and end of the chapter, the sections, and each paragraph. That doesn’t mean ignore the middle bits. Just don’t spend all your time focusing on the middle of each paragraph.

How is skimming a note-taking strategy you might ask? Well when you are spending less time reading every single word, you have more concise, accurate, and organized notes!

5 Essential Note-taking Strategies and Tips for College Students

Utilize Headings

Headings are very important when it comes to note-taking. Headings not only give you a brief idea of what you are about to read, but they can be used to organize your notes based on content. You might try organizing your notes based on headings or a general idea the text focuses on in the section following each heading.

prefer to use your own binder and add printables? let me make them for you! Click here

Create Outline

An outline is an easy way to organize your notes as you go. This is particularly easy because most textbooks are organized with headings that give you an outline before you’ve even started taking notes. If you prefer not to outline your notes based on the headings. Create a brief outline when doing the initial scan that makes sense to you.

5 Essential Note-taking Strategies and Tips for College Students

Color Coordinate

I cannot stress enough about the importance of color coordination in note-taking. Even just alternating colors when you start a new idea can help you to navigate your notes quicker when your studying. Planning Pineapple mentions choosing 5 colors to organize your notes. A different color for headings, subheadings, vocabulary, main notes, and big points. This is an amazing idea that I utilize in my own note-taking.

If you don’t like worrying about colors while you are taking notes, trying highlighting after the fact instead!

5 Essential Note-taking Strategies and Tips for College Students

Splitting your Page

Another highly recommended way to take your notes is to split the page. Draw a line or fold your page about two inches from the left side. That left column should include cues and questions. The right column is where your notes will go. Then, about two inches from the bottom of the page (or even just at the end of each section), summarize your notes. This strategy is the best when it comes to taking in-class notes, but it can also be used effectively when you are reading your text!

Now that you have 5 more note-taking tools under your belt, you are sure to succeed! Which strategy is your favorite? Let us know if the comments!

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How to Boost Productivity Working from Home

More and more people are choosing to work from home. Whether you have a home-based job, you run a business from home, or your employer offers flexible working options, it is important to be as productive as possible. There is an assumption that working from home is easy, but this should not be the case. Working from home suits many people, but others prefer the structure and formality of an office. If you are switching to a home office or you are spending more time at home, here are 3 simple ways to fulfill your potential and maximize productivity away from the office.

Establish A Routine

When you have an office job, you know that you have got to sign in and sign out at certain times. With a home-based role, there is more flexibility, but that does not mean that you should throw routine out of the window.

Most of us work better when we have set patterns in place. Establish a routine that works for you. If you are an early riser and you are more productive in the mornings, start early and tick off the most arduous or complex tasks first. If you do not feel alive until 10 am, consider a later start and work until later in the day.

You may also need to factor in time zones. If you negotiate with clients in different countries or states and the other person’s schedules. Similarly, if you participate in meetings or catch-ups with colleagues on a regular basis, take note of time zones when establishing your routine. If you are not used to working at home, it may take you a few weeks to figure out what works best for you. But you may find that this more flexible approach to working hours suits you perfectly.

Get Your Working Environment Right

When people say they are working from home, it is easy to envision them lying around in loungers with a laptop balanced on their knee and the TV on. The reality is that you are not going to be able to make working from home work for you unless the environment is right. No matter what you do and how much time you spend out of the office, you need an area that is geared towards work. This space should be a place that affords peace and the ability to focus, concentrate, and enjoy some privacy. Spare rooms, attic rooms, and garages can all work well as home offices.

Once you’ve chosen a space, think about how you want to decorate and present it. Choose furniture that will provide comfort, as well as a style. Add touches that will help you feel relaxed, but also energized. You might add houseplants or a scent diffuser machine. If you can, position your desk close to a window, as natural light is proven to increase productivity. It is also a lot more pleasant to look out over fields, ocean waves, or a garden than it is to stare at blank walls.

3 Ways to Boost Your Productivity Away From The Office

Be More Organized

When you work from home, you need to be organized. You can use the same scheduling tools as you do at the office, or you can use a wall planner or an in and out tray system that will enable you to keep track of what you have done. Establish a list of tasks and jobs every day and work on them. For more information about office organization check here, and for more information about time management check here.

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It is perfectly possible to be as productive at home as you are in office. Simply apply these tips, and you will be cruising through your to-do list in no time!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to write a post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

3 Ways to Boost Your Productivity Away From The Office

How to Create Effective Goals | Includes Free Worksheet

With every new year comes new goals and hopes to achieve these goals. Unfortunately, many of us create goals that never get completed. Why is this? One reason you might not achieve your goals is that the way you wrote it is too vague, not realistic, or has no deadline. This post is all about how to write effective goals that you can achieve. This post may contain affiliate links.

Learn how to write Long-Term Goals HERE or Learn more about SMART Goals HERE.

How to Create Effective Goals

Define Your Goal

The first thing you need to do when writing effective goals is to define the goal. What do you want to achieve? This is the easy part—getting your idea written down. However, there is more to a goal than just writing it down. Your goals need to be specific, measurable, time-sensitive, achievable, and realistic.

Make Your Goals Specific

An effective goal is a specific goal. If you do not clearly define your goal using measurable terms, you will be less inclined to complete it. Your goal needs to be so specific that it might involve smaller more specific goals to achieve the overarching goal. Read more specifically about these smaller step ladder goals here.

Make it Measurable

An effective goal needs to be measurable. This means that you need to define how you will measure your goal. Are you measuring your goal by smaller tasks or deadlines within your large goal, are you measure with time or an amount? No matter how you choose to measure your goal, measure it.

How to Create Effective Goals

Set A Realistic Deadline

If your goal does not have a due date, you will feel no pressure to complete it. How can a goal be effective if you are not motivated to complete it by a specific time? Make sure this deadline is realistic and that you have used the specifics and measurements define above to create your deadline. Having a realistic deadline can make a goal that might otherwise not be effective.

How to Create an Effective Goal

Is Your Goal Achievable and Realistic?

How likely is it that you can reach your goal by the dates you have set for yourself? To determine achievability, you must be honest with yourself. It’s common that our expectations are unrealistic, thus, making them unachievable. We get excited and don’t think about how our goal will fit into daily life. It’s often the issue that we set a date that is too soon so that we feel overwhelmed. It’s also common that we set dates that are too far away and we put off achieving our goal, leaving it to the last minute.

Effective goals written in this format are commonly known as SMART goals. They are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive. Follow this format, and you are sure to have an effective goal!

Now that you know how to write an effective goal, sit down with a pen and paper, and create your goal!

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How to Survive College | A Guide For College Freshman

I have been there…heck, I am still there! College is hard! The constant, never-ending piles of homework and assigned readings. It’s nearly impossible not to get behind! Plus, you’re always feeling sleep deprived and exhausted from pulling those all-nighters. College is hard, but it can be made super easy by following these Tips to Surviving College!

Get Enough Sleep

Believe it or not, all-nighters aren’t all that helpful. When you’re sleep deprived your brain functioning decreases significantly and your metabolism slows! This is especially important during finals, everyone is feeling the need to stay up all night studying. But If you begin studying enough in advance (keep reading to learn more about this), you will be able to get enough sleep to be fully functioning come test-day! Nothing is worse on test day than being sleep-deprived.

“Sleep is essential for optimal learning and memory function.” -Harvard.edu

Eat Right

I know, I know, you’re poor, I was there. I understand you must eat on a teeny-tiny budget. Just make sure you’re eating! Don’t skip any of those key meals. Be sure to get a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prepare a meal that you can eat on the go the night before if you know the next day is going to be busy. You can also save money on meals with meal planning and coupons.

“Healthy eating has been linked to higher grades, better memory, more alertness, faster information processing…”  Livestrong.com

Avoiding meals or eating primarily junk foods can significantly hurt your learning and your mood. So make sure you are eating and eating well!

Avoid Binge Drinking

The typical “college experience” includes partying, sure, go for it (YOLO, right?). NO. Drinking not only drains your bank accounts but it leads to poor decisions that can and will affect your schooling! I’m not saying you can’t go out and have some drinks with your friends every now and then. But, if you are doing it all the time your school work will suffer, your health will suffer, and you’re spending a lot of money on alcohol that you could be spending on REAL FOOD.

So, this goes with healthy eating and the financial topics I talk about below. Partying all the time does you no good if you are at school to get a degree (and if you don’t wish to gain a ton of weight, yeah, alcohol can cause weight gain). If you’re partying all the time, sleep deprived, and inevitably stressed from being poor and far behind on your work, obviously, your body isn’t going to be in very good shape. And if your body isn’t doing well, neither are you. Take care of yourself.

Try to avoid binge drinking, it’s not good for your college survival.

Make Friends

Having a social life is important, if you’re isolating then you are bound to burn out faster. Resilience. Resilience refers to a person’s ability to bounce back from traumatic or difficult situations. One way to help build your resilience is to have friends. I’m not saying you must go out and find a ton of friends (you can if you’d like). But really all you need is a couple close friends, people to count on and who count on you. Having a place to belong is super important!

Be careful, if you’re only socializing and you never study, your grades will suffer.

Build your resilience to difficult situations, make a friend. #Friendship

Time Management

Time Management

I cannot stress enough the importance of time management! Without time management, you are more likely to forget about assignments and be generally stressed out and behind! Having good time management can help you to not only feel better but to raise your grades as well! Track your time for a week and see where you are spending your time!

“Time=Life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” Alan Lakein

Get a Planner

Using a planner is a great way to practice time management! Use a planner to track your assignments, events, set aside study time, track your meals and water intake, track your habits, and be prepared for upcoming tests and projects! You can also track group assignment meetings, club meetings, and anything else you are involved in! I highly suggest creating a Bullet Journal, check out these printable planning pages and homework trackers to help you out!

myHomework.com

This website and mobile app will help you to track your assignments and it saved my education! It’s easy to use and incredibly useful! Here’s how you use it! (Not Sponsored)

At the beginning of every semester set aside a chunk of time to add all your assignments from the syllabus. You’ll be thankful you did this when you never forget an assignment again!