7 Ways To Live A More Productive And Efficient Life

7 Ways To Live A More Productive And Efficient Life

If you're struggling to get your life together, follow these seven steps for immediate improvement.
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We all aspire to be as focused and well put together as possible, but admittedly many of us fall short. I mean… Way short. The world of adulting is a confusing and taxing one, but by adhering to a few simple, yet essential steps, we can navigate our lives with purpose and ease.

1. Live by a set of principles

These principles can come from The Holy Bible, Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture”, or the SCUM manifesto. Whatever it is that speaks to you, memorize the core values and apply them to your daily life. By having a list of principals, you add another layer of organization and guidance to your life, which will help you stay on the right track and not lose focus of what you want out of life.

2. Make a list of things you want to accomplish

Emmitt Smith once said, “It’s only a dream until you write it down, then it becomes a goal.” It is crucial to analyze what you want to have and where you want to be. Without any direction, you’ll forever be lost and confused about what your next move will be. By making a list of what you want to accomplish, you can identify what steps you will need to take in order to be successful. Having a narrow focus on your goals will help to keep you from wasting time and energy on circumstances that do not matter.

3. Wake up early

If you start your day any later than 8 a.m., you’re not a true adult. There are only 24 hours in a day—so make the most of them! By waking up early, you maximize the amount of time you are able to spend working on your priorities and goals (and the amount of free time you can have later). Not only that, but studies have shown that those who wake up early actually get better sleep, since their bodies are more in-tune with our body’s natural circadian rhythm.

4. Eat clean

Everyone in the world knows that junk food and fast food are bad for you, but most people continue to eat it. Always remember: you are what you eat. Eating unhealthy depletes your energy and damages your health. Those who don’t eat healthily are more prone to sickness (which means more money spent on doctor’s visits or money lost due to missing days of work) and are more unproductive. If you want to finesse life, you’re going to need high energy levels and good health. By living a healthy lifestyle, we can eliminate one element of stress from our already busy and overwhelming lives.

5. Read more

I’m inclined to believe that some people thought all of those summer reading assignments and out-of-school reading programs were just ploys developed by the education system to ruin our lives. Wrong. There is a reason that many schools encourage their students to read as much as possible—it’s because reading actually does increase your intelligence. Not only that, but by exposing yourself to new ideas, concepts, and vocabulary, you become wiser and learn skills necessary to be successful in life.

6. Limit your use of social media

Social media is entertaining and a great way to stay connected with people, but it is also filled with trash. Aside from world news and great opinion pieces, most of what is on social media is mindless drivel and nothing more than a distraction. By being on social media constantly, you waste time that could’ve been spent on activities that positively benefit your life. If being productive is something you’ve always struggled with, you can immediately improve this skill by cutting out social media.

7. Stop spending money

Okay, obviously we have to spend money — we do live in a capitalist society, after all — but that doesn’t mean we have to spend money on things that are not necessary. Cook all of your meals at home, only go clothes shopping once a month (if you have trouble coming up with outfits, check out project 333), do not — I repeat, DO NOT — spend money to go to parties or other functions.

Instead, gather all of your friends at home and have a kickback, or attend free events being held in your community. Money feels much better in your pocket than it does in the hands of someone else, so spend it wisely. By limiting how much money you spend, you won’t have to worry as much about how you’ll pay bills, and you’ll also have extra money you can use towards achieving your goals.

Life was never meant to be easy, but with self-discipline and effort, we can move through the world with greater ease. Follow these seven steps daily and say adios to the days of purposelessness and misdirection.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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10 Ways To Keep Your Workout Motivation According To A Personal Trainer

"ALEXA play 'Work Bitch' by Britney Spears."

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Keeping your motivation for working out is one of the number one reasons why I think people fail to achieve their fitness goals.

Now I am no "fitness guru" by any means, and I have lost my motivation many times and worked back up.

No one is perfect when it comes to working out, and everyone can have different methods that are successful but from what I have seen, and talking to a few personal trainers, these are some of the best ways to keep your motivation and not lose track of your goals.

If you stick to these 10 ways, you will definitely have a better mindset when it comes to working out, and that will help you push yourself hard because you know that you are capable of much more than you think!

That is the last piece of advice I will leave you with, you are so much more capable of than you think. I recall so many times in the gym, I've thought I was gonna just collapse or crumble cause I was so tired, but time and time again I persevere and finish a set, and see that I can really push myself to the limits, and this is when I've seen the best results.

1. Talk about your goals.

You have to speak your goals into existence. Also speaking about them to others can help hold you accountable and you are working so hard for them, don't give up and let what you accomplished so far go to waste!

2. Get a consistent workout buddy.

This is something that I have found helps me out a lot, my roommate Jordan and I are always checking in on each other to make sure that we've worked out!

3. Want better for yourself, not to impress someone else.

This is also very important, if you have fitness goals solely to impress someone else, you will never be satisfied, or never feel like enough.

4. Want it more than you say.

You really have to want your fitness goals more than you are saying. If you have this goal that is driving you constantly in the back of your mind, your motivation will keep coming from within.

5. Have a scheduled workout plan.

If you have a workout plan that a professional or yourself has constructed, it gives you something to follow and not break. Having a plan for yourself will help keep yourself on track.

6. Take pictures every week!

Seems cheesy, but taking photos of yourself every week can hold you accountable but more importantly, you are able to see results, big or small, if you aren't seeing them in person, you'll be able to tell through the photos.

7. Know what your plan is before you go to the gym.

You should know what your plan is before you go to the gym, try not to just wing it. If you are winging it, who knows if you are really pushing yourself and constantly challenging yourself every gym session.

8. Try your best to maintain a healthy diet during the week.

This can be difficult of course, meal prepping is someting that can always helps! BUT if you don't have time to meal prep, then just go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of healthy snacks to eat throughout the day to keep your motabalism working. Get foods to fuel your body so all your hard workouts don't go to waste!

9. Stick to a plan, it'll be hard at first, but it only gets easier.

Once you get into the swing of things, get into a routine, you'll get used to it. And then you will truly enjoy it, feel great, and have more energy!

10. Surround yourself with others that also have the same goals as you.

As cliche as it is, you do pick up the traits of the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with overachievers, hard workers, who have the same fitness goals as you, you'll all work hard together and encourage each other along the way!

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