Posted in Notes: motivation & goals

How to find balance and increase productivity?

With the current life rhythm it is extremely difficult to be very productive, but in a balanced way. We are always busy, but are we spending our energy on the right things? And how do we find balance in our chaotic lives?

  • Reduce spending time on social media

According to the article by Jessica Brown for BBC:

Three billion people, around 40% of the world’s population, use online social media – and we’re spending an average of two hours every day sharing, liking, tweeting and updating on these platforms, according to some reports. That breaks down to around half a million tweets and Snapchat photos shared every minute.

2 hours per day adds up to almost 28 days per year spent on social media and that is just an average! If we want to be more productive, we need to get out of social media and be present here and now. Even if we spend twice less time, so about 1 hour per day, that would save 8 days per year!

However, not only does social media take our time, it affects our emotional state a lot. According to the same article from BBC:

A study published in the journal Computers and Human Behaviour found that people who report using seven or more social media platforms were more than three times as likely as people using 0-2 platforms to have high levels of general anxiety symptoms.

Our emotional state affects our productivity, so put the social media away and start being present.

  • Scheduling

Very often we can just get stuck in a process of doing something for a very long time, probably way too long than it is required to that task. To avoid this we need to start scheduling our time, so we do not get lost in a stuff that are not worth it. There are plenty of apps, that will help your scheduling, for instance: TimeTune, Schedul, ClassUP etc. Those can help you keep to your timetable. Also, a simple notebook and a pen will do!

  • Sleep deprivation

Good sleep is a key to success! So simple, but for some reason we keep ignoring it. There are so many things that depend on whether you sleep well or not: your skin condition, your energy levels, your appetite, your mood etc. So make sure you go to sleep on time and sleep not less than 7-8 hours.

  • Meditation

This does not have to be any lotus meditation posture, a simple walk on your own for 5-10 mins will do, or just be on your own for a while. Meditation helps you to leave the external environment and just be alone with yourself and your thoughts. Meditation helps to relieve stress and calm down. 5-10 mins per day on your own will help you to keep your life in balance and cope with all the negative things from external environment.

It is not difficult to find balance, we just need to pay attention on how we spend our time and how we feel about ourselves. Unfortunately with all the rush we forget to take care of ourselves, but this is something we should really start doing!

Cheers!

May the force be with you!

Sources:

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180104-is-social-media-bad-for-you-the-evidence-and-the-unknowns

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Posted in Notes: work related topics

Working in an international team: benefits and challenges.

The world is becoming more and more open nowadays. Companies become international, and boundaries are getting erased. It is more common to move to foreign countries and find a job there (that is partly my story as well). If we take US as an example, according to Seattle times post from May 2018 (1):

The number of foreign-born workers in the U.S. labor force has reached 27.4 million, or 17.1 percent of the total number of workers…

That is an impressive number, and it is only in US! Also companies have their offices around the globe, so you do not need to necessarily move anywhere in order to work with the foreign colleagues, as current technologies and internet allow to communicate and do tasks together online. So our working environment becomes more international, and while it has its’ benefits, it also brings challenges.

The main benefits of international work teams are:

  1. Experience exchange. When team members have different cultures and background, it helps to broaden the big picture. It adds new perspective to the tasks and sometimes make it easier and faster to solve.
  2. Learning about other cultures. While working in an international team you can learn a lot about other cultures, some interesting facts and behavior features.

Even though these benefits have a great value for the team work, there are many challenges, which multinational working team can face:

  1. Misunderstanding. Even people from the same country and city, who speak the same languages can misunderstand each other, when it comes to people from different parts of the world working together, it is very difficult to always understand each other. This can lead to delays during the work process.
  2. Cultural differences. From personal experience of working in the international team: our cultures affect our way of working and dealing with things. Some cultures are easier to work with, some are harder, but sometimes you can get really stuck in the work process just because you see things differently.

The only solution to the struggles inside international team at work is patience. We are all in the same boat, and we just have to “keep on rowing”.

Cheers!

May the force be with you!

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.seattletimes.com/explore/careers/immigrants-now-make-up-17-of-the-u-s-labor-force/
Posted in Notes: motivation & goals

How to start acting on your ideas?

We probably have thousands of ideas going through our minds during one day. But we rarely act on any of them. Of course it is impossible to do something about each and every idea we have, but we can do something about the best ones. So let’s say we would be sitting on a couch, and suddenly thinking: “should I go for a jog?”.  According to “The 5 second rule” by Mel Robbins (1) from that moment you will have approximately 5 seconds to actually start doing something before your brain hits the brakes. You will know that happened, when your thoughts will be something like:

  • “Well the weather is actually not so good today”
  • “Well I can do it tomorrow, I am pretty tired”

But ideas without execution are pointless. And unfortunately, no matter how great idea you have, you will never feel like doing it, because it is just easier that way. So what to do?

As said, you will have about 5 seconds to do something about it, so the first thing you can do (depending on the idea), write it down! Because when you do it, you cannot pretend like you did not think of it. Or for the previous example with jogging, get up and put jogging clothes on immediately, this small action will change your thoughts from “Actually I don’t feel like doing it” to “Well I anyway dressed-up already, so I should go”. There it is! Small action=big result! Because when we have already done something about our idea, we do not want it to go to waste, so we feel like we should continue doing something about it.

Then think of motivation for your idea. You do not go jog for the sake of jogging. You want to be healthy, sportive, in a good shape etc. That is motivation, which will drive you towards actions.

Also, you can share your idea with someone, and then you will feel like you have to do it now, because you have already said you will. Anyways, saying it out loud helps a lot to force yourself towards actions.

If you are afraid that your idea will not work out and that is why you are not doing anything about it, TRY! Just try it out, maybe it does work, maybe it does not, but you will never know for sure until you try. Do not give up too early.

It is difficult to force yourself to start some action and movement, but try this exercise during next week:

  • write down your ideas when they pop up in your mind
  • do something about each one of them, something small, maybe check information from the Internet, or go to a gym this week once, or something like this
  • in the end of the week check your list and write down your reflection, how do you feel? do you feel more productive? did you get out a little bit out of your comfort zone?

Not every idea is doable, but you will never know it for sure until you try!

Cheers

May the force be with you!

Sources:

  1. https://melrobbins.com/blog/the-5-second-rule/

P.S. you can also check out Mel’s video on Ted talks, very inspirational!

 

Posted in Notes: work related topics

How to get social with your colleagues if you are an introvert?

It is a real struggle to open up to your colleagues and feel comfortable around them if you are an introvert. It is extremely difficult to let someone into your world and share your thoughts with them, without thinking of what will they think of you. If you are going through the adaptation to a new team, I know your struggle.

The best thing you can do is give yourself time. Do not feel like you have to be social just for the sake of seeming to be social, no. Being “slow to warm up” is normal and there are many people like you, so the important thing you need is time. It can be weeks, can be months, but step by step you will start to include people around you at work in your comfort zone.

Another good thing you can do, is start small: try to communicate with others in a smaller group, it is much easier to get to know a person and feel comfortable around him/her if you are in a group of 2-3 people. So split the big group and start communication with people one by one, afterwards you will feel comfortable in that original big group.

Also, remember to accept people as who they are, and they will accept you. Patience and understanding are the keys to a great environment inside the team. And be open about your struggles with your colleagues. You don’t have to inform everyone about your feelings, but find a person with whom you feel most comfortable with and tell him/her about your challenges. You will feel more confident when you know, there is at least 1 person in a team who knows about the difficult adaptation process you are going through right now.

I know how difficult it is to adapt to a new work team if you are an introvert, but take your time, take it slowly, accept people as they are, and eventually it will become your comfort zone.

Cheers.

May the force be with you!

Posted in Notes: motivation & goals

Why are we making our lives difficult?

I have been thinking a lot lately about why so many people are unsatisfied with their lives. Why do we make our lives difficult, when in reality it is so easy? Why do we keep worrying about unimportant stuff?

First of all, high expectations very often bring us big disappointments and therefore affect our emotional state. The desire to develop yourself and your life conditions is natural and good, but sometimes we lose touch with the reality, especially because of  the social media. We see amazing pictures of people and places, and we think: “My life sucks, because I am not like them”. However, we do not know the background story behind those pictures, and truth is, it is not always that “beautiful”. Because of the affect of the social media, we stopped appreciating what we have, and we started to live in the yet-to-come future, where we believe we can achieve that. Being delusional is what ruins our enjoyment from the things we have, and just focusing us on the things we could have or maybe will have, which in really we might never have, nobody knows. Healthy development and growth is amazing, but very often we drown in our illusions.

Secondly, our social circle has crucial affect on our level of satisfaction with our lives. How so? Well we often compare ourselves with people we know, and if our friend gets promotion and we don’t, we start thinking and comparing ourselves to him/her, whereas the only person we should compare ourselves is us.

Thirdly, we create problems where they just don’t exist. If you have loved ones around you, food and roof above your head- you have all the basic stuff you need. So when your problem is that you cannot buy a second car, or you cannot afford jeans from some expensive brand- you have no problem!

Finally, we are trying to be so independent, that in the end of the day, we end up being lonely. And surely, the social media has a huge impact on this, we start transitioning into society where social contact is decreased to the minimum. While it has many benefits, and we can call and send documents throughout the world within seconds, it creates a rift in face-to-face communication.

When we start enjoying every moment of our lives and appreciating all the things we have, instead of being disappointed about the ones we don’t, we will find true feeling of happiness.

P.S. As my mum says: “If it is a problem, which you can solve, why worry about it? If it is a problem you cannot solve, why worry about it?”

Cheers.

May the force be with you!

 

 

 

Posted in Notes: motivation & goals

3 reasons why you are not reaching your goals and what to do about them.

Do you get a feeling like you are working very hard, but your dream is still so far away? Why is this happening? There are multiple reasons for that, and if you are reading this, you are looking for an answer how to change this situation.


1. You are wasting your time on side activities, which have nothing to do with your final goal.

What to do? Do the following exercise for 1 week: after each day, before you go to sleep, write what you have done today, preferably with a time frame for each activity. When you will have 7 days filled up, look at every day and check, what are the “automated” activities, which you do as a habit, but you don’t really have to do them? Or at least not every day? Maybe you are spending too much time on a computer or phone? This exercise will help you to see the current state of your life, and it will be the first step to changes.


2. You are not scheduling.

What to do? Going with a flow is good sometimes, but if you are determined you need to make some kind of a schedule for a day, or a week, it will help you keep the time frames for your activities and you will have sometime freed up if you follow the schedule.


3. Your goal is unrealistic.

What to do? Sit down and think: “are my expectations too high?”. Because in very many cases they are! We can achieve many things we want, but unfortunately we cannot all be successful movie stars or billionaires. So do not be harsh to yourself and be realistic.


Cheers.

Posted in Notes: motivation & goals

How to motivate yourself?

I believe it comes from a human nature as we are quite lazy creatures. Very often it feels like you do not know where you are heading and how to force yourself to “leave a couch” and start moving towards your goals. So how to find motivation?

First of all, start doing what you actually like and enjoy! There is no better motivation than loving what you do.

Secondly, just stop for a moment and think: what is your goal? what do you want to achieve? But just thinking of something you want or wish is far not enough. When you decide what is it you want, you will need to make a plan; what do you need to do in order to achieve it? That can include 2 steps, or it can include much more than that, write it down, and when you do, you will clearly see your action plan!

Example: goal- study in Germany

Action plan:

  • Choose university (ies) and degree program(es)
  • Improve language skills: go to courses/start online studies/ learn by yourself
  • Earn some money in order to support your living in a new country
  • Check the job situation in Germany, what is unemployment rate?


Thirdly, after you know your action plan – go for it! From that moment, when you do something, you should ask yourself: ” does this help me to achieve my goal or am I wasting my time?“.

Finally, think of people around you, do they motivate you? do they push you to develop yourself and improve your skills? If not, please try to expand your network to people, who will keep pushing you forward and give you some challenge, so you can go an extra mile. I do not mean to stop communication with your good friends, but I do think that we need to get out from our comfort zone in order to achieve something!
Always remember, that you can achieve anything if you put an effort to it! And stay realistic, changes do not happen overnight, but small steps will push you towards your dream!


Cheers,

Daria