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3 Ways To Focus Your Wandering Mind And Fuel Productivity

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how to focus more

Do you have trouble staying focused? For several years I knew I wanted to start writing again and to build up a thriving side-hustle as a freelance writer. I would schedule my day so that I had time to write after work. Then I would get home from work, and start to write, only to find that my mind would quickly wander off.

Typically I would be either ruminating about something that happened in the past, or planning and worrying about the future. I know I am not alone in this struggle to focus. If you are like me, you probably experience the ‘monkey mind’ – a wandering and scattered mind that just can’t stay focused.

Not only does mind-wandering make us less productive, it can make us less happy. Indeed, a Harvard study found that when people’s minds were wandering, they tended to be less happy, because during mind-wandering our thoughts often tend towards negative rumination such as our worries and our regrets. .

I wasted a full year letting my mind-wandering get the best of me. I decided to get serious about learning to focus and to stop wasting time.

Here are three ways I have learned to focus the wandering mind:

1. Know your why

Remember your motivation for doing the task in the first place. This will greatly enhance your ability to focus and get things done. Make sure you know why you need the focus, and get clear on what will happen if you don’t focus.

Even if this particular task feels like is more something you must do than something you are motivated to do, think about the bigger picture. How does this task relate to a larger project or career goal that is highly motivating for you? For example, will this task help strengthen a particular skill you need to get a promotion or transfer into a new role?

If you can’t find one single motivating reason to be doing this task, consider not doing it at all. Move onto something else.

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” – William Barclay

2. Structure your workflow

We all have a finite attentional window. Structure your workflow to be in line with that capacity. Work can be seen as a series of sprints  – and to be our most productive and most creative, we need to unplug throughout our workdays.

This can be accomplished in two ways. The first is to schedule your most important work during the time you are typically most awake, energetic and focused.

Get to know your energy cycles, and when you are at your best. Schedule your workflow to be aligned with your best energy capacity. For example I always schedule creative or strategic projects for first thing in the morning, my most focused time of the day.

The second way is break tasks down into smaller tasks and schedule them in short spirits. Work for about an hour straight with no distractions, no multitasking or checking email. Then, take a short break and walk around the office or go get some fresh air. This will enable you to be more productive throughout the full day.

 

3. Monitor your mind

The most important way to stop the wandering mind, is to monitor it. Daniel Goleman, author of Focus, recommends periodic mind monitoring throughout the day. Noticing where your mind has gone – such as checking Facebook instead of working on that report – gives you the chance for an important check in: “my mind has wandered off again.”

That very thought disengages your brain from where it has wandered and activates brain circuits that can help your attention get unstuck and return to the work at hand. So each time you notice your mind has wandered away from the task at hand, name it by saying ‘wandering’ and then bring your mind back to the task you are working on.

If you notice that your mind always wanders to the same place, to social media or checking email for example, this might be a good indicator that you need to limit these distractions. Try working with your phone in another room or a few hours, or disconnect from the wifi in your office so it takes an extra step to get back online. That extra step should be enough to stop you from going online.

Practice makes perfect 

Time is our most precious resource, once it is spent we can never get it back. By continuing to be unfocused time slips by, and we may find that we are no closer to our goals than we were a year ago.

The good news is that we can change our ways and overcome the habitual thoughts patterns of the mind. Building our ‘focus muscle’ is like going to the gym. Willpower is like a muscle… over time with training, we can strengthen our attention.

“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” – Mary Tyler Moore

The reward for all this practice? By training our minds to be more focused, we will take action towards our goals, and be more productive and happier at work and in our daily lives.

How do you focus your wandering mind? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Heidi Hill is a writer and mindfulness educator intent on helping everyone reach their full potential. Heidi shares research-backed mindfulness tools to help people change their relationship to stress and reclaim their joy. Grab her free guide: 5 Simple Mindfulness Practices to Help You Focus and Instantly Increase Your Energy. You can also check out her website here: http://www.lifeinfullbloom.com.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Camilla Hallstrom

    Feb 22, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Wonderful post, Heidi! I’ve recently realized how much more I got done by disconnecting my WiFi or by using a program like FocusWriter 🙂

  2. Robert Bowley

    Feb 20, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Heidi
    I loved reading your article. Three really useful tips to remember. I couldn’t agree more, that practice is the key to them all.
    Looking forward to your next blog!

    Rob

  3. Yash Chauhan

    Feb 18, 2016 at 4:35 am

    Very good Article, Heidi !

  4. Christie

    Feb 17, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Good post! I think we are all forgetting how to focus and concentrate. I blame it on all the beeping media we have surrounded ourselves with. We need to choose when we have media usage and then turn it off.

  5. Corinne Kerston

    Feb 17, 2016 at 4:00 am

    Hi Heidi,
    I have a huge problem with focus and lack of attention. I appreciate these wonderful tips.

    Corinne

  6. April

    Feb 17, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Great article Heidi! I really like your tips and will try to put them into practice. I think they’d be especially helpful when you are not super motivated to get to the tasks at hand.

  7. Charlene Rhinehart

    Feb 17, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Thanks for sharing, Heidi! Your first point about remembering your WHY is crucial. It’s easy to lose focus if you have lost your why. Keeping your why at the center of your ambitions will help you gain the strength needed to continue on your journey.

    • Heidi Hill

      Feb 17, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Charlene, thanks so much for your comment. I am glad you found the post helpful!

  8. Quinn Eurich

    Feb 16, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Hi Heidi,

    I’m really big on your #1 tip! Not only does it help you focus, but when you think of the type of mindset you need in order to accomplish the task, it helps even more.

    That comes in very handy for me when doing those tasks I don’t particularly care to do, or when a piece of writing needs a specific tone.

    Good advice!

    Thanks very much for sharing!

    Qyubb

    • Heidi Hill

      Feb 17, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      Hi Quinn, thanks for your comment. I am so glad you liked these tips! – Heidi

  9. Sue Anne Dunlevie

    Feb 16, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Hi, Heidi,

    Loved this article! Very interesting that an unfocused mind makes you less happy. Good reason to follow your steps.

    Thanks for the great info.
    Sue

  10. Dinesh N Sathe

    Feb 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Great notes .
    Liked the ” Disconnect Wi-fi” point .
    Power of Focus is awesome .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Commit to Lifelong Learning

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learning

Education is commonly equated to an experience for children and young adults, but the reality is that lifelong learning can benefit you in many ways. The world is constantly changing, and this means that you must be open to absorbing and actively seeking new information to stay up-to-date. This, of course, expands far beyond education in your area of professional expertise.

You can enjoy both personal and professional benefits when you make education a lifelong priority, and these are five very powerful factors to consider:

1. Wider Knowledge, More Skills

As you expand your knowledge base in different ways, you can increase your skill set tremendously. Formal education remains important, but it is not fully sufficient because of how rapidly the world around us is evolving. Therefore, you should regularly work to improve your professional skills and to explore new interests and hobbies as well.

For example, you may consider learning a new language which can help you with your professional career, but also assist you in exploring different cultures more easily while traveling. You can widen your computer skills or learn how to play an instrument.

Whatever you choose to pursue, there are many ways to widen your knowledge base: taking up a class, attending a seminar, listening to audio tapes, etc. You can also leverage online educational opportunities, and these include apps and educational websites. Reading books, visiting museums and watching educational programming on television are a few other thoughtful ideas to consider.

2. New Career Opportunities

The job market is increasingly competitive and many employers are focused on finding well-rounded workers to join their team. They want to find people who have expertise in many areas rather than one, so they will be drawn to individuals with various skills and interests.

Education will, therefore, definitely augment your potential of getting promoted or finding a new job: learning that new language may open up job opportunities in a different part of the world. When you improve your skillset, you may even gain knowledge that can help you start your own business or become a consultant. Such opportunities can improve your quality of life and potentially lead to a higher income level. So, if you are unhappy with your job, don’t wait, start honing your skills now!

“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people.” – Tena Desae

3. Open-Mindedness

In the words of Malcolm Forbes, “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” The reality is that constantly seeking knowledge can help you to better understand the world around you, and this includes getting to know new cultures, concepts, and customs. Ultimately, this will make you less prejudice and more open-minded. Your horizons will be expanded and you will start exploring things you were previously unaware of.

Furthermore, education can change your entire outlook on certain topics and help you become a well-rounded and informed citizen. More than that, it can help you to carry on intelligent conversations and make you become an interesting person in the eyes of other people. Overall, your broad world view will help you enjoy a more successful career and foster great personal relationships with friends and colleagues alike.

4. Self-Esteem and Health Benefits

By regularly expanding your knowledge in different areas, you may inadvertently be promoting a healthy level of self-esteem and improving your mental and physical well-being. Educated people naturally feel more confident, and this level of self-esteem can exude from you. It can also boost your productivity and lead to a better overall quality of life with ample happiness.

Constantly seeking knowledge may also ward off the development of dementia and other degenerative memory conditions. You may also learn more about dietary and exercise habits, so you can improve your lifestyle and physical health in different ways.

5. Having a Great Time

Many people struggle to find happiness and a sense of fulfillment in life because they lack balance. Simply working all of the time will not lead to contentment with life, and you need to have fun as well if you want to feel fulfilled on a regular basis.

Learning can actually be enjoyable and even fun, which happens when you explore topics that interest you. While some topics may specifically be explored to boost your professional expertise in your field, you can also spend time learning more about religions, locations, cultures and concepts that have fascinated you on a more personal level.

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

Acquiring new knowledge and learning new skills should be a lifelong endeavor. It can help you to improve both your professional and private life, leading to increased happiness and fulfillment as well as to an increased money-making potential over the years.

Mahatma Gandhi eloquently stated, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Adopting this philosophy can improve your life tremendously in the years to come.

How do you make sure to always stay open-minded in order to never stop learning? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

I Want To Be Happy – Only With You

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I only want to be happy with you.

I want you to find love and not be single for the rest of your life because you’ve told me how much you want to settle down and have a family one-day. I know how much you enjoy the company of an intelligent partner who knows how to have a proper conversation. I want to be that partner.

I want you to have time to talk before breakfast and enjoy a healthy meal with me, so you have loads of energy to live your day with passion. I want you to have time to tell me about your workday and what inspired you. I want to hear about how you’ve empowered others to chase their dreams.

I want you to tell me about how you went for drinks after work and had way too many red wines. To tell me the smallest detail about your day knowing that I will still be fascinated because of how much I care about you.

I want to smile when I get a message from you knowing that you inserted the maximum amount of emoji’s and that I will do my best to compete and add in more with my own reply. I’ll try my best to add in even more crazy emoji’s so that you have to think very carefully about what I am trying to say and what each emoji means. Our emoji game can be like a never-ending puzzle that we spend the rest of our lives trying to solve.

I want us to travel all around the world and experience new cultures together. I want us to go to places that scare the hell out of us and defy the ridiculous terrorism warnings that stop people going to beautiful cities like Paris.

“I don’t want us to live in fear; I want us to live with passion”

As part of that travel dream, I want to whisk you away when you least expect it and take you somewhere that will help you remember me forever, even after I’m gone. I want you to have one special place where you can remember me for a single moment and know that I will always be with you. I want that place to make us both smile when we think of it. I want to make these crazy dreams with you.

I want you to feel like you can do whatever you want and there is nothing holding you back. I want you to feel as free as a bird flying over the sea without a care in the world. I want you to know that I will always move obstacles out of your way so you can feel that sense of freedom.

I want to stay home from work when you have the flu and make you yummy soup, even if it means I get sick with you, and we both have to stay home. I want to take you to the doctor’s office when you’re unwell and conquer any medical issue with you. I want us always to believe in hope if the worst happens.

I want to be there for you no matter what.

When our parents are eventually gone one day, I want us both to never forget them. To never forget the dreams they had for our lives and the difference they made. While they may not have got everything always right, they did their best. We’ve both had struggles with a difficult sibling, but that’s not their fault. For their sake, we will do our best to have a relationship with our siblings even if it’s hard. The result of that struggle is the one thing that would make both of our parents proud and we owe them that at the very least.

I may be still single right now, but one day I will find you and we will live happily ever after. That’s a promise to you and to my future self.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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3 Ways You Can Awaken Your Positive Spirit

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It’s 5:30 in the morning, your alarm rings. Do you feel like waking up? Heck no! The pillow is your best friend and at this moment, you wouldn’t mind breaking your phone to shut it up. Nonetheless, responsibilities are calling you. You roll out of bed, making it all the way to the bathroom. It takes you one shower and a giant cup of coffee to wake up.

You hit the road. No gas in the car and you are already running late. You stop at the gas station, rush in the door when you realize you forgot your wallet at home. Current mood: the bomb before the explosion approached by the mental breakdown. Can you resonate?

So, here comes the question. What do you do when nothing seems to go right? Do you bow your head down and get into “Why is this happening to me” mindset? Or do you step up and look at the bright side even when it is hard to spot it?

A positive attitude is a heartwarming topic for me because, for many years, I lived on the negative side. Only by experiencing pain and emptiness, did I start to understand the power of positive thinking in life. The best part is, you can make this switch too.

Here are 3 ways you can awaken your positive spirit in any negative moment:

1. Motion Creates Emotion

Imagine your regular day. You wake up, get ready and head to work. Throughout the day, you deal with all kinds of problems and challenges. Deadlines for your big projects are catching up and your mom just called you, crying that her dog is sick and it doesn’t look good. You work your butt off and by 5pm you are in something that I call exhaustion state. But wait, there is a gym hang out tonight at 7 pm. You already promised your buddy John that you will be there so you show up.

You grab your headset and step on the running belt while playing your favorite song or compilation of motivational speeches. Within 15 minutes of motion, you are feeling better. Your pulse is rising and you start running faster. After 30 minutes of motion and intense exercise, the entire exhaustion is gone and you feel great. Suddenly, the day doesn’t seem so bad and you feel pretty good about yourself. How come? Because of motion.

Every motion creates emotion. One of the things I started to do when I felt under the weather was to exercise or jump and say YES for 60 seconds. I put my hands up like a champ who just won the gold cup and smile. Of course, it looks totally crazy so you won’t see me doing it but the change of my mental state happens in an instant.

“I’m not going to get somewhere and say, ‘OK, I’m done.’ Success is never final; I’ll just keep on going. The same way as failure never being fatal. Just keep going. I’m going to the stars and then past them.” – Conor McGregor

2. Positivity Focus

Let’s take a look at this scenario. One day, two big events. The first is good. You finally closed that deal with a very important client which you were focusing on for months. Great success. But then, you receive an email. It’s from the car company where you applied for your dream car. Unfortunately, your credit score is just a few numbers below their required limit so your application is denied. The question is: Which one are you going to focus on?

The art of happiness isn’t in not having problems or not experiencing losses along the way, it’s all about perspective and your ability to focus on the gains. Life balances itself. I can tell you right now, with solid confidence that you won’t always get what you want or when you want it. Life will often welcome you with re-battles. If you can see your glass half full when things don’t go your way, your positive attitude will save you each and every time.

3. Contribution

Okay, now you may be thinking “What’s up with contribution in this article when we talk about the positive attitude?” I get it so let me explain. Contribution has a highly positive impact on your mental health.

When you give and share, more than likely you’ll receive gratitude from the other person. It makes you feel useful, important and grateful as well. Why? Because there comes the time when you’ll recognize all those things you are taking for granted while others are dying to have or experience them. That’s why we tend to feel more grateful when we contribute.

Gratitude activates positive emotions and directs your focus on the good things. You give and receive at the same time. I call this a double victory.

A positive attitude is both, a corny and classy topic. It becomes corny since we hear it all the time but it stays classy because it always works and definitely saves you from living in misery. Even when you don’t always get what you want, with a positive spirit it will feel like you do.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

How do you stay upbeat in moments where nothing seems to be going your way? Please let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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3 Things to Pay Attention to When Building Your Own Personal Brand

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Who are you? Not your name or your business or even what your ethics are, but who are you in the sense of what people see when they look at you? Does your name and your business bring happiness to the minds of people who hear it? Does it bring anger? Does it bring peace and joy? Does it bring sadness?

How people feel when they think of you is your personal brand. We all know who Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, and Robert Kiyosaki are. These people have built huge reputations for themselves. We also know who Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Adolf Hitler are. These people have also build reputations for themselves; very different reputations than the first names I listed.

When you read these names, a different feeling comes to mind, so below are 3 ways on how to evoke positive emotions when people hear your name:

1. Envoke the senses

First lets understand what a brand is. A brand is a product or service that invokes a feeling or emotion. Building a brand is all about invoking the senses of your Customers, you don’t want people to think of your brand and only think of the logo. We want people to have a scent that reminds them of you, a sight like a logo, and a feel that reminds them of not only your brand, but of you as well.

When people think of your company, what do you want them to think of? What emotion do you want to inspire in your customer base, and what can help you inspire that emotion? When creating your personal brand, you want to invoke all five senses of your target audience. If you own a coffee shop, when people walk in you want them to smell coffee, their mouth to water when they think of fresh pastries, their ears to perk up when they hear the beans being ground up.

“I force people to have coffee with me, just because I don’t trust that a friendship can be maintained without any other senses besides a computer or cellphone screen.” – John Cusack

To create your brand you can’t only think about what you want associated with your business, but also what you don’t want associated with it. Think back to the coffee instead of smelling coffee and pastries, how would you feel about walking in and smelling bleach? Would you rather go to the first coffee shop or the second one?

Think of ways to create a positive experience when a customer walks in by bringing a scent to people, or an interesting sight as they walk through the door. These things will all eventually become part of your brand in the sense that when people think of them, they will think of you.

2. Attractive marketing

Marketing is an amazing way to help boost your company’s sales. But marketing can also hurt your business if it isn’t done correctly. Have you ever given someone your email or phone number and had him or her relentlessly spam you trying to get your business? When someone does that, do you want to use their service, or do you want to throw your phone at the wall every time they message you? When building a brand you also want to think of ways to make your business, and marketing plans more attractive.  

This goes back to what you want people to think of when they think of your brand. Small things can go a long way in creating an attractive image for you and your company. Attractive marketing doesn’t stop at just ads, and endorsement. Thinking of ways to portray yourself in a positive light will help as well. It’s natural to think a person would be doing business with a company, but each customer is doing business with you directly. Now think back to a time you were in a store and had terrible customer service. How likely are you to go back to that store?

Even if that company employs thousands of people, the one bad experience you had with one employee could actually prevent you from going back. People are more likely to go somewhere they think of in a positive light, some place that reminds them of a good experience. A personal brand is not only a brand for your company or product, but it is also a way of branding yourself. The goal of marketing and creating a personal brand should be, to get your customer base to feel like they know you personally.

3. Build with social media

Social media is a great way to get your clients to feel like they know you personally. When a client feels like they know you, like you, and can trust you, they are more likely to buy whatever you are selling. People buy based off of person, product and price. So having that personal relationship with a client can go a long way, especially if they don’t know a lot about the product or price. There are tons of social media platforms to reach your customer base, but what platform gives the most personal, and honest form of your business?

One of the most surprising ways to build fans of your brand is podcasts. A podcast lets your audience hear your voice and speaking your opinions exactly how you meant them to be said. The more a person feels like they know you, the more likely they are to feel like they can trust you, your recommendations on products, and investments.

“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence” – Sean Gardner

Unlike most social media platforms, podcasts don’t require someone to scroll through an endless feed, or pay attention to their phone or computer. For a podcast all you have to do is throw on a playlist and listen away while you are driving, cleaning, or just doing day-to-day tasks. The main goal is once you have a playlist of podcasts, someone only needs to hear one, let the playlist go, and suddenly be hooked on your opinions and advice.

You have the power to evoke emotions and feelings from people. In every moment of your life you are building your personal brand. Every time you interact with people and every thing you say makes up how people think and feel about both you and your products/services. When it comes to building your brand, the opportunities are endless but what I stated above is the perfect place to begin that journey. Always remember to create a brand to help your company speak for itself.

How do you make sure people understand who you are and follow you? Let us know by commenting below!
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Life

5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Commit to Lifelong Learning

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learning

Education is commonly equated to an experience for children and young adults, but the reality is that lifelong learning can benefit you in many ways. The world is constantly changing, and this means that you must be open to absorbing and actively seeking new information to stay up-to-date. This, of course, expands far beyond education in your area of professional expertise. (more…)

Helen Eagleton, a freelance blogger from Boston, follows topics in the realm of education, technology, digital marketing, and business in general. When she’s not researching for her next article, she enjoys watching documentaries and exploring the nature. Reach her @eagleton_helen.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Camilla Hallstrom

    Feb 22, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Wonderful post, Heidi! I’ve recently realized how much more I got done by disconnecting my WiFi or by using a program like FocusWriter 🙂

  2. Robert Bowley

    Feb 20, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Heidi
    I loved reading your article. Three really useful tips to remember. I couldn’t agree more, that practice is the key to them all.
    Looking forward to your next blog!

    Rob

  3. Yash Chauhan

    Feb 18, 2016 at 4:35 am

    Very good Article, Heidi !

  4. Christie

    Feb 17, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Good post! I think we are all forgetting how to focus and concentrate. I blame it on all the beeping media we have surrounded ourselves with. We need to choose when we have media usage and then turn it off.

  5. Corinne Kerston

    Feb 17, 2016 at 4:00 am

    Hi Heidi,
    I have a huge problem with focus and lack of attention. I appreciate these wonderful tips.

    Corinne

  6. April

    Feb 17, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Great article Heidi! I really like your tips and will try to put them into practice. I think they’d be especially helpful when you are not super motivated to get to the tasks at hand.

  7. Charlene Rhinehart

    Feb 17, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Thanks for sharing, Heidi! Your first point about remembering your WHY is crucial. It’s easy to lose focus if you have lost your why. Keeping your why at the center of your ambitions will help you gain the strength needed to continue on your journey.

    • Heidi Hill

      Feb 17, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Charlene, thanks so much for your comment. I am glad you found the post helpful!

  8. Quinn Eurich

    Feb 16, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Hi Heidi,

    I’m really big on your #1 tip! Not only does it help you focus, but when you think of the type of mindset you need in order to accomplish the task, it helps even more.

    That comes in very handy for me when doing those tasks I don’t particularly care to do, or when a piece of writing needs a specific tone.

    Good advice!

    Thanks very much for sharing!

    Qyubb

    • Heidi Hill

      Feb 17, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      Hi Quinn, thanks for your comment. I am so glad you liked these tips! – Heidi

  9. Sue Anne Dunlevie

    Feb 16, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Hi, Heidi,

    Loved this article! Very interesting that an unfocused mind makes you less happy. Good reason to follow your steps.

    Thanks for the great info.
    Sue

  10. Dinesh N Sathe

    Feb 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Great notes .
    Liked the ” Disconnect Wi-fi” point .
    Power of Focus is awesome .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Commit to Lifelong Learning

Published

on

learning

Education is commonly equated to an experience for children and young adults, but the reality is that lifelong learning can benefit you in many ways. The world is constantly changing, and this means that you must be open to absorbing and actively seeking new information to stay up-to-date. This, of course, expands far beyond education in your area of professional expertise.

You can enjoy both personal and professional benefits when you make education a lifelong priority, and these are five very powerful factors to consider:

1. Wider Knowledge, More Skills

As you expand your knowledge base in different ways, you can increase your skill set tremendously. Formal education remains important, but it is not fully sufficient because of how rapidly the world around us is evolving. Therefore, you should regularly work to improve your professional skills and to explore new interests and hobbies as well.

For example, you may consider learning a new language which can help you with your professional career, but also assist you in exploring different cultures more easily while traveling. You can widen your computer skills or learn how to play an instrument.

Whatever you choose to pursue, there are many ways to widen your knowledge base: taking up a class, attending a seminar, listening to audio tapes, etc. You can also leverage online educational opportunities, and these include apps and educational websites. Reading books, visiting museums and watching educational programming on television are a few other thoughtful ideas to consider.

2. New Career Opportunities

The job market is increasingly competitive and many employers are focused on finding well-rounded workers to join their team. They want to find people who have expertise in many areas rather than one, so they will be drawn to individuals with various skills and interests.

Education will, therefore, definitely augment your potential of getting promoted or finding a new job: learning that new language may open up job opportunities in a different part of the world. When you improve your skillset, you may even gain knowledge that can help you start your own business or become a consultant. Such opportunities can improve your quality of life and potentially lead to a higher income level. So, if you are unhappy with your job, don’t wait, start honing your skills now!

“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people.” – Tena Desae

3. Open-Mindedness

In the words of Malcolm Forbes, “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” The reality is that constantly seeking knowledge can help you to better understand the world around you, and this includes getting to know new cultures, concepts, and customs. Ultimately, this will make you less prejudice and more open-minded. Your horizons will be expanded and you will start exploring things you were previously unaware of.

Furthermore, education can change your entire outlook on certain topics and help you become a well-rounded and informed citizen. More than that, it can help you to carry on intelligent conversations and make you become an interesting person in the eyes of other people. Overall, your broad world view will help you enjoy a more successful career and foster great personal relationships with friends and colleagues alike.

4. Self-Esteem and Health Benefits

By regularly expanding your knowledge in different areas, you may inadvertently be promoting a healthy level of self-esteem and improving your mental and physical well-being. Educated people naturally feel more confident, and this level of self-esteem can exude from you. It can also boost your productivity and lead to a better overall quality of life with ample happiness.

Constantly seeking knowledge may also ward off the development of dementia and other degenerative memory conditions. You may also learn more about dietary and exercise habits, so you can improve your lifestyle and physical health in different ways.

5. Having a Great Time

Many people struggle to find happiness and a sense of fulfillment in life because they lack balance. Simply working all of the time will not lead to contentment with life, and you need to have fun as well if you want to feel fulfilled on a regular basis.

Learning can actually be enjoyable and even fun, which happens when you explore topics that interest you. While some topics may specifically be explored to boost your professional expertise in your field, you can also spend time learning more about religions, locations, cultures and concepts that have fascinated you on a more personal level.

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

Acquiring new knowledge and learning new skills should be a lifelong endeavor. It can help you to improve both your professional and private life, leading to increased happiness and fulfillment as well as to an increased money-making potential over the years.

Mahatma Gandhi eloquently stated, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Adopting this philosophy can improve your life tremendously in the years to come.

How do you make sure to always stay open-minded in order to never stop learning? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

I Want To Be Happy – Only With You

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I only want to be happy with you.

I want you to find love and not be single for the rest of your life because you’ve told me how much you want to settle down and have a family one-day. I know how much you enjoy the company of an intelligent partner who knows how to have a proper conversation. I want to be that partner.

I want you to have time to talk before breakfast and enjoy a healthy meal with me, so you have loads of energy to live your day with passion. I want you to have time to tell me about your workday and what inspired you. I want to hear about how you’ve empowered others to chase their dreams.

I want you to tell me about how you went for drinks after work and had way too many red wines. To tell me the smallest detail about your day knowing that I will still be fascinated because of how much I care about you.

I want to smile when I get a message from you knowing that you inserted the maximum amount of emoji’s and that I will do my best to compete and add in more with my own reply. I’ll try my best to add in even more crazy emoji’s so that you have to think very carefully about what I am trying to say and what each emoji means. Our emoji game can be like a never-ending puzzle that we spend the rest of our lives trying to solve.

I want us to travel all around the world and experience new cultures together. I want us to go to places that scare the hell out of us and defy the ridiculous terrorism warnings that stop people going to beautiful cities like Paris.

“I don’t want us to live in fear; I want us to live with passion”

As part of that travel dream, I want to whisk you away when you least expect it and take you somewhere that will help you remember me forever, even after I’m gone. I want you to have one special place where you can remember me for a single moment and know that I will always be with you. I want that place to make us both smile when we think of it. I want to make these crazy dreams with you.

I want you to feel like you can do whatever you want and there is nothing holding you back. I want you to feel as free as a bird flying over the sea without a care in the world. I want you to know that I will always move obstacles out of your way so you can feel that sense of freedom.

I want to stay home from work when you have the flu and make you yummy soup, even if it means I get sick with you, and we both have to stay home. I want to take you to the doctor’s office when you’re unwell and conquer any medical issue with you. I want us always to believe in hope if the worst happens.

I want to be there for you no matter what.

When our parents are eventually gone one day, I want us both to never forget them. To never forget the dreams they had for our lives and the difference they made. While they may not have got everything always right, they did their best. We’ve both had struggles with a difficult sibling, but that’s not their fault. For their sake, we will do our best to have a relationship with our siblings even if it’s hard. The result of that struggle is the one thing that would make both of our parents proud and we owe them that at the very least.

I may be still single right now, but one day I will find you and we will live happily ever after. That’s a promise to you and to my future self.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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3 Ways You Can Awaken Your Positive Spirit

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positivity

It’s 5:30 in the morning, your alarm rings. Do you feel like waking up? Heck no! The pillow is your best friend and at this moment, you wouldn’t mind breaking your phone to shut it up. Nonetheless, responsibilities are calling you. You roll out of bed, making it all the way to the bathroom. It takes you one shower and a giant cup of coffee to wake up.

You hit the road. No gas in the car and you are already running late. You stop at the gas station, rush in the door when you realize you forgot your wallet at home. Current mood: the bomb before the explosion approached by the mental breakdown. Can you resonate?

So, here comes the question. What do you do when nothing seems to go right? Do you bow your head down and get into “Why is this happening to me” mindset? Or do you step up and look at the bright side even when it is hard to spot it?

A positive attitude is a heartwarming topic for me because, for many years, I lived on the negative side. Only by experiencing pain and emptiness, did I start to understand the power of positive thinking in life. The best part is, you can make this switch too.

Here are 3 ways you can awaken your positive spirit in any negative moment:

1. Motion Creates Emotion

Imagine your regular day. You wake up, get ready and head to work. Throughout the day, you deal with all kinds of problems and challenges. Deadlines for your big projects are catching up and your mom just called you, crying that her dog is sick and it doesn’t look good. You work your butt off and by 5pm you are in something that I call exhaustion state. But wait, there is a gym hang out tonight at 7 pm. You already promised your buddy John that you will be there so you show up.

You grab your headset and step on the running belt while playing your favorite song or compilation of motivational speeches. Within 15 minutes of motion, you are feeling better. Your pulse is rising and you start running faster. After 30 minutes of motion and intense exercise, the entire exhaustion is gone and you feel great. Suddenly, the day doesn’t seem so bad and you feel pretty good about yourself. How come? Because of motion.

Every motion creates emotion. One of the things I started to do when I felt under the weather was to exercise or jump and say YES for 60 seconds. I put my hands up like a champ who just won the gold cup and smile. Of course, it looks totally crazy so you won’t see me doing it but the change of my mental state happens in an instant.

“I’m not going to get somewhere and say, ‘OK, I’m done.’ Success is never final; I’ll just keep on going. The same way as failure never being fatal. Just keep going. I’m going to the stars and then past them.” – Conor McGregor

2. Positivity Focus

Let’s take a look at this scenario. One day, two big events. The first is good. You finally closed that deal with a very important client which you were focusing on for months. Great success. But then, you receive an email. It’s from the car company where you applied for your dream car. Unfortunately, your credit score is just a few numbers below their required limit so your application is denied. The question is: Which one are you going to focus on?

The art of happiness isn’t in not having problems or not experiencing losses along the way, it’s all about perspective and your ability to focus on the gains. Life balances itself. I can tell you right now, with solid confidence that you won’t always get what you want or when you want it. Life will often welcome you with re-battles. If you can see your glass half full when things don’t go your way, your positive attitude will save you each and every time.

3. Contribution

Okay, now you may be thinking “What’s up with contribution in this article when we talk about the positive attitude?” I get it so let me explain. Contribution has a highly positive impact on your mental health.

When you give and share, more than likely you’ll receive gratitude from the other person. It makes you feel useful, important and grateful as well. Why? Because there comes the time when you’ll recognize all those things you are taking for granted while others are dying to have or experience them. That’s why we tend to feel more grateful when we contribute.

Gratitude activates positive emotions and directs your focus on the good things. You give and receive at the same time. I call this a double victory.

A positive attitude is both, a corny and classy topic. It becomes corny since we hear it all the time but it stays classy because it always works and definitely saves you from living in misery. Even when you don’t always get what you want, with a positive spirit it will feel like you do.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

How do you stay upbeat in moments where nothing seems to be going your way? Please let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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3 Things to Pay Attention to When Building Your Own Personal Brand

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Who are you? Not your name or your business or even what your ethics are, but who are you in the sense of what people see when they look at you? Does your name and your business bring happiness to the minds of people who hear it? Does it bring anger? Does it bring peace and joy? Does it bring sadness?

How people feel when they think of you is your personal brand. We all know who Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, and Robert Kiyosaki are. These people have built huge reputations for themselves. We also know who Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Adolf Hitler are. These people have also build reputations for themselves; very different reputations than the first names I listed.

When you read these names, a different feeling comes to mind, so below are 3 ways on how to evoke positive emotions when people hear your name:

1. Envoke the senses

First lets understand what a brand is. A brand is a product or service that invokes a feeling or emotion. Building a brand is all about invoking the senses of your Customers, you don’t want people to think of your brand and only think of the logo. We want people to have a scent that reminds them of you, a sight like a logo, and a feel that reminds them of not only your brand, but of you as well.

When people think of your company, what do you want them to think of? What emotion do you want to inspire in your customer base, and what can help you inspire that emotion? When creating your personal brand, you want to invoke all five senses of your target audience. If you own a coffee shop, when people walk in you want them to smell coffee, their mouth to water when they think of fresh pastries, their ears to perk up when they hear the beans being ground up.

“I force people to have coffee with me, just because I don’t trust that a friendship can be maintained without any other senses besides a computer or cellphone screen.” – John Cusack

To create your brand you can’t only think about what you want associated with your business, but also what you don’t want associated with it. Think back to the coffee instead of smelling coffee and pastries, how would you feel about walking in and smelling bleach? Would you rather go to the first coffee shop or the second one?

Think of ways to create a positive experience when a customer walks in by bringing a scent to people, or an interesting sight as they walk through the door. These things will all eventually become part of your brand in the sense that when people think of them, they will think of you.

2. Attractive marketing

Marketing is an amazing way to help boost your company’s sales. But marketing can also hurt your business if it isn’t done correctly. Have you ever given someone your email or phone number and had him or her relentlessly spam you trying to get your business? When someone does that, do you want to use their service, or do you want to throw your phone at the wall every time they message you? When building a brand you also want to think of ways to make your business, and marketing plans more attractive.  

This goes back to what you want people to think of when they think of your brand. Small things can go a long way in creating an attractive image for you and your company. Attractive marketing doesn’t stop at just ads, and endorsement. Thinking of ways to portray yourself in a positive light will help as well. It’s natural to think a person would be doing business with a company, but each customer is doing business with you directly. Now think back to a time you were in a store and had terrible customer service. How likely are you to go back to that store?

Even if that company employs thousands of people, the one bad experience you had with one employee could actually prevent you from going back. People are more likely to go somewhere they think of in a positive light, some place that reminds them of a good experience. A personal brand is not only a brand for your company or product, but it is also a way of branding yourself. The goal of marketing and creating a personal brand should be, to get your customer base to feel like they know you personally.

3. Build with social media

Social media is a great way to get your clients to feel like they know you personally. When a client feels like they know you, like you, and can trust you, they are more likely to buy whatever you are selling. People buy based off of person, product and price. So having that personal relationship with a client can go a long way, especially if they don’t know a lot about the product or price. There are tons of social media platforms to reach your customer base, but what platform gives the most personal, and honest form of your business?

One of the most surprising ways to build fans of your brand is podcasts. A podcast lets your audience hear your voice and speaking your opinions exactly how you meant them to be said. The more a person feels like they know you, the more likely they are to feel like they can trust you, your recommendations on products, and investments.

“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence” – Sean Gardner

Unlike most social media platforms, podcasts don’t require someone to scroll through an endless feed, or pay attention to their phone or computer. For a podcast all you have to do is throw on a playlist and listen away while you are driving, cleaning, or just doing day-to-day tasks. The main goal is once you have a playlist of podcasts, someone only needs to hear one, let the playlist go, and suddenly be hooked on your opinions and advice.

You have the power to evoke emotions and feelings from people. In every moment of your life you are building your personal brand. Every time you interact with people and every thing you say makes up how people think and feel about both you and your products/services. When it comes to building your brand, the opportunities are endless but what I stated above is the perfect place to begin that journey. Always remember to create a brand to help your company speak for itself.

How do you make sure people understand who you are and follow you? Let us know by commenting below!
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