Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog Wed, 01 Jul 2020 01:49:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 3 Reasons Open-Mindedness is a Key to Self-Growth https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/3-reasons-open-mindedness-is-a-key-to-self-growth/ https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/3-reasons-open-mindedness-is-a-key-to-self-growth/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:23:15 +0000 https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/?p=81034

Lately, more so than usual, social media has been flooded with opinions. Because people are being more vocal about their beliefs, others grow more hostile defending their own in response. Rational discussions are too commonly few and far between. I’ve noticed both through observation and experience that too many hostile disagreements stem from closed-mindedness from both parties.  from just persistently not listening. 

So, why is open-mindedness an extremely vital part of self-growth? 

  1. It changes your approach to conversations. 

I’ve seen way too many people approach debates (I’d honestly hardly call these conversations debates; they’re more like verbal thrashings) with, “If you ______, direct message me & I’ll tell you why you’re wrong.” This dehumanizes the person on the other side of the argument and often makes it seem like they want the worst for everyone. Instead, we must recognize that the person we disagree with has at least a reason for their belief. How do we determine if that reason is reliable and coming from a good place? We listen to them. We recognize them as people who, more often than not, think their way is the safest and best way. 

The arguments about police and prison reform were the inspiration for this blog post and the social and political elephant in the room here, but keep in mind open-mindedness is not only a tactic to form your political beliefs (...but definitely use it! Don’t dismiss ideas before you even hear and consider them). 

With that being said, let’s switch to looking at this thought process within improving states of our self-doubt, insecurity, and anxiety. It’s probably difficult to understand why some friends and family members struggle with anxiety or self-doubt. Instead of saying, “Just don’t worry,” we should be asking them what they’re worried about, why they’re worried about it, and what helps ease their fears. Then, we should express understanding for their anxiety and calmly discuss its rationality and action steps to prevent it in the future. “Just don’t worry,” dismisses real worries and creates shame for having them, which isn’t helpful for growth for either party.

On the flip side, if you struggle with something like anxiety or self-doubt and reach out for help, it’s possible you anticipate you’re too far gone for any of their advice to actually help you. If you hear them without listening, the conversation is fruitless because you’ve already decided you’re the exception. To be helped, you must be open to getting help.

  1. It allows room for each side to admittedly have flaws.

Hannah Montana really said it best in her song “Nobody’s Perfect.” Viewing our opinions from any perspective at all as infallible because we hold them is entirely unhelpful. If we’re afraid of a kink in our logic, we make our ideas seem more extreme because we’re giving full-fledged solutions instead of saying, “Well, this is the best thing I’ve heard so far. What do you think?” For example, abolitionist-based police reform has been widely discussed and the exact community resources that would replace aspects of the police have been tossed around. If we believe in abolitionist-based police reform, we must be able to recognize that asking people what their ideal version of expanding community resources looks like is extremely helpful in consideration, meaning there may be something more ideal than what you currently believe. On the other side of that, people who are aggressively supporting our current police force often refuse to think anything is wrong with it at all, which also stunts progress. 

Within a different avenue, if someone has negative coping mechanisms for stress, they must not sweep them under the rug like they’re no big deal. Instead of saying, “It’s not a problem. I don’t even do it that much,” we have to acknowledge that something is wrong in the first place. Similarly, if their friend tries to suggest a behavior to replace the negative one, the friend shouldn’t believe this is not only the best way, but the only way to live at all. This again goes back to approaching the confrontation, proving the person with negative coping mechanisms probably isn’t trying to have them, but they have to want to get better. 

  1. The conversation will be more honest and productive. 

No matter what perspective of any argument you’re coming from, it’s always easy to get caught up in the moment and shift the conversation to personal attacks and angry comments. When we remove these behaviors, we make room for facts, experiences, and true perspectives. An open mind allows the full extent of each perspective to be expressed. This means that at the end of the conversation, even if the two people end up disagreeing, they then can say, “I don’t agree, but I see where they’re coming from,” which results in a lot less bashing and overall hostility. 

“How I Realized There’s Enough Pretty to Go Around”

It’s a joke among my friends and family that as a child, I was rather… sure of myself. Some may choose the word conceited, but we’ll go with extraordinarily confident. Obviously, many kids have problems recognizing the positive characteristics they share with others; likewise, I was too busy basking in self-love to see that there were other girls who were also pretty and smart.

At some point, though, a middle school girl who couldn’t bear the idea of leaving the house without makeup started replacing my overwhelming amount of self-assuredness.

Over my six years of social media usage, I started incorporating a rather unhealthy habit of comparison into my daily routine, and I didn’t recognize its severity until I found myself on another girl’s instagram before I went to bed wishing and praying I could have the ever-so-perfect highlight real she portrayed on her profile. Eventually, I became rather upset that this was such a large focus of my day-to-day, but instead of taking action steps to alleviate these self-inflicted unhealthy habits, I let them be. I chose to ignore them, acting like I had no reason to fix anything since I identified the issue already. What more could I possibly need?

It’s irrational to treat our personal setbacks aside like a book laying around we’ve been meaning to read for six years. See, the only way to actually get past the habit of comparison was to allow myself to get upset every now and then. I had to stop ignoring the problem. 

So, I started trying. Slowly but surely, I’d catch myself lurking on someone’s page, but then I’d recognize the lies I constantly used to tell myself and do my best to lift my spirits with positivity. One day, scrolling on VSCO, I saw a picture that said, “Just because she’s pretty doesn’t mean you’re not.”

“Just because she’s pretty doesn’t mean you’re not.”

Okay. 

What next?

Now, I wish that seeing a sweet, empowering picture on VSCO would entirely change my perspective on life. I wish I could say I never so much as negatively batted an eyelash afterwards, but that’s not the case. What it did mean was that from then on, when the cursed comparison crept in, I’d remind myself that there was enough pretty to go around. Since there’s enough pretty to go around, there’s enough for everyone to be pretty. Someone else’s beauty doesn’t disqualify your own. 

I used to think that if I was as “pretty” as the girls I compared myself to, I’d never have another issue. I thought that the pretty people were works of art, and I ran around the margins. Understanding that there’s enough pretty to go around correlates directly with understanding that no one is exempt from sadness. There will always be someone who disappoints us, and there will always be an adversary. There will be no shortage of negativity or sadness. 

We play with the cards we’re dealt, but because too many people end up hating their hands, I think our vision of the game is skewed. Something about growing up made me start hating my cards, and that’s not unique to me. Little, overly-confident Erin held closely to her dear Queen of Hearts, but I think it’s time to stop trying to paint the white roses red. 


My name is Erin Harrison and I’m a 17-year-old girl from Tupelo, Mississippi. I had a rather tedious journey learning to accept myself in middle school, so when I finally made progress, I wanted to help others make some too. I started a project I like to call “I Feel Pretty” to mentor middle school girls on overcoming insecurity, friendship quarrels, and even different kinds of abuse at home. I spend most of my time babysitting, mentoring adolescents, and hanging out with friends. If you’re interested in my project, check out my website: https://fox-seadragon-7z3b.squarespace.com/about-me?noredirect

The post 3 Reasons Open-Mindedness is a Key to Self-Growth appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>

Lately, more so than usual, social media has been flooded with opinions. Because people are being more vocal about their beliefs, others grow more hostile defending their own in response. Rational discussions are too commonly few and far between. I’ve noticed both through observation and experience that too many hostile disagreements stem from closed-mindedness from both parties.  from just persistently not listening. 

So, why is open-mindedness an extremely vital part of self-growth? 

  1. It changes your approach to conversations. 

I’ve seen way too many people approach debates (I’d honestly hardly call these conversations debates; they’re more like verbal thrashings) with, “If you ______, direct message me & I’ll tell you why you’re wrong.” This dehumanizes the person on the other side of the argument and often makes it seem like they want the worst for everyone. Instead, we must recognize that the person we disagree with has at least a reason for their belief. How do we determine if that reason is reliable and coming from a good place? We listen to them. We recognize them as people who, more often than not, think their way is the safest and best way. 

The arguments about police and prison reform were the inspiration for this blog post and the social and political elephant in the room here, but keep in mind open-mindedness is not only a tactic to form your political beliefs (...but definitely use it! Don’t dismiss ideas before you even hear and consider them). 

With that being said, let’s switch to looking at this thought process within improving states of our self-doubt, insecurity, and anxiety. It’s probably difficult to understand why some friends and family members struggle with anxiety or self-doubt. Instead of saying, “Just don’t worry,” we should be asking them what they’re worried about, why they’re worried about it, and what helps ease their fears. Then, we should express understanding for their anxiety and calmly discuss its rationality and action steps to prevent it in the future. “Just don’t worry,” dismisses real worries and creates shame for having them, which isn’t helpful for growth for either party.

On the flip side, if you struggle with something like anxiety or self-doubt and reach out for help, it’s possible you anticipate you’re too far gone for any of their advice to actually help you. If you hear them without listening, the conversation is fruitless because you’ve already decided you’re the exception. To be helped, you must be open to getting help.

  1. It allows room for each side to admittedly have flaws.

Hannah Montana really said it best in her song “Nobody’s Perfect.” Viewing our opinions from any perspective at all as infallible because we hold them is entirely unhelpful. If we’re afraid of a kink in our logic, we make our ideas seem more extreme because we’re giving full-fledged solutions instead of saying, “Well, this is the best thing I’ve heard so far. What do you think?” For example, abolitionist-based police reform has been widely discussed and the exact community resources that would replace aspects of the police have been tossed around. If we believe in abolitionist-based police reform, we must be able to recognize that asking people what their ideal version of expanding community resources looks like is extremely helpful in consideration, meaning there may be something more ideal than what you currently believe. On the other side of that, people who are aggressively supporting our current police force often refuse to think anything is wrong with it at all, which also stunts progress. 

Within a different avenue, if someone has negative coping mechanisms for stress, they must not sweep them under the rug like they’re no big deal. Instead of saying, “It’s not a problem. I don’t even do it that much,” we have to acknowledge that something is wrong in the first place. Similarly, if their friend tries to suggest a behavior to replace the negative one, the friend shouldn’t believe this is not only the best way, but the only way to live at all. This again goes back to approaching the confrontation, proving the person with negative coping mechanisms probably isn’t trying to have them, but they have to want to get better. 

  1. The conversation will be more honest and productive. 

No matter what perspective of any argument you’re coming from, it’s always easy to get caught up in the moment and shift the conversation to personal attacks and angry comments. When we remove these behaviors, we make room for facts, experiences, and true perspectives. An open mind allows the full extent of each perspective to be expressed. This means that at the end of the conversation, even if the two people end up disagreeing, they then can say, “I don’t agree, but I see where they’re coming from,” which results in a lot less bashing and overall hostility. 

“How I Realized There’s Enough Pretty to Go Around”

It’s a joke among my friends and family that as a child, I was rather… sure of myself. Some may choose the word conceited, but we’ll go with extraordinarily confident. Obviously, many kids have problems recognizing the positive characteristics they share with others; likewise, I was too busy basking in self-love to see that there were other girls who were also pretty and smart.

At some point, though, a middle school girl who couldn’t bear the idea of leaving the house without makeup started replacing my overwhelming amount of self-assuredness.

Over my six years of social media usage, I started incorporating a rather unhealthy habit of comparison into my daily routine, and I didn’t recognize its severity until I found myself on another girl’s instagram before I went to bed wishing and praying I could have the ever-so-perfect highlight real she portrayed on her profile. Eventually, I became rather upset that this was such a large focus of my day-to-day, but instead of taking action steps to alleviate these self-inflicted unhealthy habits, I let them be. I chose to ignore them, acting like I had no reason to fix anything since I identified the issue already. What more could I possibly need?

It’s irrational to treat our personal setbacks aside like a book laying around we’ve been meaning to read for six years. See, the only way to actually get past the habit of comparison was to allow myself to get upset every now and then. I had to stop ignoring the problem. 

So, I started trying. Slowly but surely, I’d catch myself lurking on someone’s page, but then I’d recognize the lies I constantly used to tell myself and do my best to lift my spirits with positivity. One day, scrolling on VSCO, I saw a picture that said, “Just because she’s pretty doesn’t mean you’re not.”

“Just because she’s pretty doesn’t mean you’re not.”


Okay. 

What next?

Now, I wish that seeing a sweet, empowering picture on VSCO would entirely change my perspective on life. I wish I could say I never so much as negatively batted an eyelash afterwards, but that’s not the case. What it did mean was that from then on, when the cursed comparison crept in, I’d remind myself that there was enough pretty to go around. Since there’s enough pretty to go around, there’s enough for everyone to be pretty. Someone else’s beauty doesn’t disqualify your own. 

I used to think that if I was as “pretty” as the girls I compared myself to, I’d never have another issue. I thought that the pretty people were works of art, and I ran around the margins. Understanding that there’s enough pretty to go around correlates directly with understanding that no one is exempt from sadness. There will always be someone who disappoints us, and there will always be an adversary. There will be no shortage of negativity or sadness. 

We play with the cards we’re dealt, but because too many people end up hating their hands, I think our vision of the game is skewed. Something about growing up made me start hating my cards, and that’s not unique to me. Little, overly-confident Erin held closely to her dear Queen of Hearts, but I think it’s time to stop trying to paint the white roses red. 


My name is Erin Harrison and I’m a 17-year-old girl from Tupelo, Mississippi. I had a rather tedious journey learning to accept myself in middle school, so when I finally made progress, I wanted to help others make some too. I started a project I like to call “I Feel Pretty” to mentor middle school girls on overcoming insecurity, friendship quarrels, and even different kinds of abuse at home. I spend most of my time babysitting, mentoring adolescents, and hanging out with friends. If you’re interested in my project, check out my website: https://fox-seadragon-7z3b.squarespace.com/about-me?noredirect

The post 3 Reasons Open-Mindedness is a Key to Self-Growth appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>
https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/3-reasons-open-mindedness-is-a-key-to-self-growth/feed/ 0
4 Tips to Help Separate Work and Home Life During Coronavirus https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/4-tips-to-help-separate-work-and-home-life-during-coronavirus/ https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/4-tips-to-help-separate-work-and-home-life-during-coronavirus/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2020 04:13:28 +0000 https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/?p=81021

When you originally started working from home there were a lot of things that you learned about yourself and how much time you had for other activities. You may have noticed that since your commute is not existent you can sleep in more and take time making breakfast or you realized that you could invest in ways to change the mood of your home. Furthermore, you felt that life was going to get so much easier because you could schedule things the way you want it.

After a few weeks of the repetitive schedule, you may have noticed that it was hard to separate your work life from your personal life. Your life has now blended work life and your home life to one. It can be hard to focus on work when you have something else you can be doing, and it can be hard to stop working because work is always going to be in your sight.

If you are working from home and have found that it is becoming harder and harder to see between work and home life, here are four tips to help separate work and home life.

1) Prioritize your calendar

It is imperative that the first step to being able to draw the line between work and home life is prioritizing your calendar. If you do not have a schedule yet, I would recommend creating one with either a pen or pencil or with the device you are reading this off of. List out what your normal day looks like including work and personal activities throughout the house.

Are you a morning or night person?

If you wake up early in the morning and love to start your day earlier rather than later, it is important to schedule your day accordingly. Get up between 5 am to 6 am and start your day then, which will allow you to end your workday around two or three in the afternoon leaving the rest of your night with your family. Either way, set apart one section of the day for work and one section for home life.

If you are working continuously all throughout the day without sticking to a set plan, it will cause you to blend your two lives into one.

2) Set reminders to stop work at specific times

This is one of the most important parts of creating a perfect and healthy plan for working from home. Find a time where you can set a reminder to tell you to stop working every day. Creating a specific time that you need to step away from work will force you to start defining the line between your two lives.

Use the extra space in your home

If you have the luxury to have your own space for an office in your home, make sure to keep that place for work and not personal life as well. If that room starts to blend the two lives together you will start to see yourself fall into an unhealthy routine.

Finding the correct time to check out of work and step into your home life will be so beneficial in your time working from home.

3) Keep your laptop/work phone at your home office setup

If you have a separate phone or laptop for work you need to leave them inside of your office space at all times. If you find yourself sitting on the couch with your family and plugging away on your work laptop, you have found yourself in an unhealthy situation. There should always be time for yourself personally and time for work, leaving your work electronics in your office space will allow you to create time for both.

Do you have a designated space for work?

It is totally normal and understandable to not have the perfect space in your home to work from home, but that is the case it is time to get creative. It is totally possible to create a spot in your home where you know if you are there that means you should be working. If your work area is near the living room, that is okay, just make sure it is not blending in with other personal areas.

4) Consider removing work access from your personal phone

This can be a hard one to do as it needs a lot of will to do. Removing work access from your personal phone is so beneficial because it allows you to live in the present when you are supposed to. If you call it a day for work and it is time to hang out with your family, the worst thing to have is a bunch of dings from your boss about work. You want to be able to focus on your family and call work done for the day.

Conclusion

Working from home can cause a lot of self-discipline but can be a very helpful thing in your life. It can give you more time to spend on other things because there is no commute, or it can give you more time to sleep because you work better on a lot of rest. Consider using these four tips that should help separate work and home life while working at home.

Ben Tejes is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ascend Finance, a platform to help people achieve self-improvement in the area of personal finance.  He helped create Ascend’s Chapter 13 payment estimator and the bankruptcy means test calculator. He writes on topics such as Filing Bankruptcy in Utah, Can You File Bankruptcy on Medical Bills, and Chapter 13 Payment Too High to help people get out of debt and experience financial freedom.

The post 4 Tips to Help Separate Work and Home Life During Coronavirus appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>

When you originally started working from home there were a lot of things that you learned about yourself and how much time you had for other activities. You may have noticed that since your commute is not existent you can sleep in more and take time making breakfast or you realized that you could invest in ways to change the mood of your home. Furthermore, you felt that life was going to get so much easier because you could schedule things the way you want it.

After a few weeks of the repetitive schedule, you may have noticed that it was hard to separate your work life from your personal life. Your life has now blended work life and your home life to one. It can be hard to focus on work when you have something else you can be doing, and it can be hard to stop working because work is always going to be in your sight.

If you are working from home and have found that it is becoming harder and harder to see between work and home life, here are four tips to help separate work and home life.

1) Prioritize your calendar

It is imperative that the first step to being able to draw the line between work and home life is prioritizing your calendar. If you do not have a schedule yet, I would recommend creating one with either a pen or pencil or with the device you are reading this off of. List out what your normal day looks like including work and personal activities throughout the house.

Are you a morning or night person?

If you wake up early in the morning and love to start your day earlier rather than later, it is important to schedule your day accordingly. Get up between 5 am to 6 am and start your day then, which will allow you to end your workday around two or three in the afternoon leaving the rest of your night with your family. Either way, set apart one section of the day for work and one section for home life.

If you are working continuously all throughout the day without sticking to a set plan, it will cause you to blend your two lives into one.

2) Set reminders to stop work at specific times

This is one of the most important parts of creating a perfect and healthy plan for working from home. Find a time where you can set a reminder to tell you to stop working every day. Creating a specific time that you need to step away from work will force you to start defining the line between your two lives.

Use the extra space in your home

If you have the luxury to have your own space for an office in your home, make sure to keep that place for work and not personal life as well. If that room starts to blend the two lives together you will start to see yourself fall into an unhealthy routine.

Finding the correct time to check out of work and step into your home life will be so beneficial in your time working from home.

3) Keep your laptop/work phone at your home office setup

If you have a separate phone or laptop for work you need to leave them inside of your office space at all times. If you find yourself sitting on the couch with your family and plugging away on your work laptop, you have found yourself in an unhealthy situation. There should always be time for yourself personally and time for work, leaving your work electronics in your office space will allow you to create time for both.

Do you have a designated space for work?

It is totally normal and understandable to not have the perfect space in your home to work from home, but that is the case it is time to get creative. It is totally possible to create a spot in your home where you know if you are there that means you should be working. If your work area is near the living room, that is okay, just make sure it is not blending in with other personal areas.

4) Consider removing work access from your personal phone

This can be a hard one to do as it needs a lot of will to do. Removing work access from your personal phone is so beneficial because it allows you to live in the present when you are supposed to. If you call it a day for work and it is time to hang out with your family, the worst thing to have is a bunch of dings from your boss about work. You want to be able to focus on your family and call work done for the day.

Conclusion

Working from home can cause a lot of self-discipline but can be a very helpful thing in your life. It can give you more time to spend on other things because there is no commute, or it can give you more time to sleep because you work better on a lot of rest. Consider using these four tips that should help separate work and home life while working at home.

Ben Tejes is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ascend Finance, a platform to help people achieve self-improvement in the area of personal finance.  He helped create Ascend’s Chapter 13 payment estimator and the bankruptcy means test calculator. He writes on topics such as Filing Bankruptcy in Utah, Can You File Bankruptcy on Medical Bills, and Chapter 13 Payment Too High to help people get out of debt and experience financial freedom.

The post 4 Tips to Help Separate Work and Home Life During Coronavirus appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>
https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/4-tips-to-help-separate-work-and-home-life-during-coronavirus/feed/ 3
Here’s Why The Office Life Kills Your Neck, And What to do About it! https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/heres-why-the-office-life-kills-your-neck-and-what-to-do-about-it/ https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/heres-why-the-office-life-kills-your-neck-and-what-to-do-about-it/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2020 16:54:30 +0000 https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/?p=80944

Do you find yourself fighting against your sore neck after a long day in the office?

I do!

As much as 10% of the adult population is actually suffering from a stiff neck. That's one out of every ten!

A neck, like a train crash, is by far the most common physical issue amongst us office workers. 8 or more hours sitting at your desk in front of that screen in the office leaves you feeling as if you just ran a marathon - but with your neck and shoulders instead of your legs…

Oh, the pain!

The fact is:

Our daily lives are not really lenient when it comes to escaping our work routines. And the magical solution of quitting your job and finding something "less sedentary" is aloof to the vast majority of us. You need to pay your bills, right?

So what can you do then?

Well, don't panic! Where there is a problem, there is a solution!

Read on to discover the different reasons that might be causing you that upsetting neck pain.

But even better:

I will also give some pointers that might help you fix these annoying issues!

Let's get to it:

Your Workspace Needs Adjustment!

This one is pretty obvious. Because after all, your beloved office is the place where you spend most hours of your day.

According to Erik Larsen from hometraininghero.com, the way your workplace is set up plays the most important part of whichever body ailment you have after hours spent in the office: “Having an ergonomic and healthy office set-up is one of the best preventive measures you can do to keep your posterior chain free from those life-defining pains”.

Here are a few aspects that you should pay special attention to when setting up your workspace:

Your Chair

The chair is as crucial for an office worker as proper running shoes are for the runner.

While at work, your butt will most likely spend a big part of the day glued to your chair. With this in mind, your chair must be adjusted appropriately to your body, desk, and screen:

Adjust the height of it in such a way that your feet are flatly placed on the floor without your hip going above the knee level. This will make you sit in the best position for your spine and will also prevent your shoulders from hunching.

You should also be able to adjust the seat to a position where the edge is placed firmly under your knees. Your lower back should form a 90-degree angle from your hips while gaining support from the back of the chair.

In other words, forcing your employer to get you a decent chair will improve not only your productivity, but also your overall health!

Screen:

A poorly positioned screen can be the leading cause of your neck issues.

Think about it for a second:

If you watch a movie and slightly tilt your head to the side for some time, what happens?

Yep!

One side of your neck gets sore and uncomfortable.

The same effect takes place if you spend all day dropping your head forward to look at a computer screen that is placed too low on your field of view...

Ideally, the top frame of your monitor should be leveled with your eyes. This will slowly relieve tension from your neck as your vision will be set at eye level.

If your screen does not have sufficient adjustment opportunities, something as simple as a few books can be used to get your monitor to the right height.

Adjusting your screen is as simple as brushing your teeth... No excuses!

Keyboard and Mouse

The height and distance at which these elements are placed is another essential factor when it comes to neck pain in office workers.

Just picture it:

When the keyboard is too high on your desk, your body will inevitably compensate by shrugging your shoulders. This will, in turn, cause neck soreness and spasms in the long run.

The ideal position is one in which your forearms are parallel to the floor, and your wrists don't bend. If you use a laptop, it will be incredibly beneficial to get a separate keyboard and mouse.

Mixing Things up Will do Wonders For Your Stiff Neck

As you can see, little tweaks in your workspace could mean significant changes in the way your body responds to spending hours sitting in the office.

If you are still not sure about the right set up of your desk, please refer to the following link to get the exact measurements suited your body: https://www.ergotron.com/tools/workspace-planner.

You Are Stressing too Much!

We all suffer from it one way or another.

Life these days is not made for the faint-hearted!

  • Bills to pay every month,
  • the kids getting sick,
  • the daily commute to work trapped in rush hour,
  • your boss pushing you to deliver that report on… what was it again?

If this sounds familiar to you, chances are your poor neck and shoulders are feeling the tension.

So how do you deal with this?

To alleviate this tension, you may think I am going to suggest you go to a yoga retreat…

Well, that's not the case:

Stress-relieving techniques are simple and can be practiced anywhere, even from your desk at work!

So let's get down to business.

Relax

The first easy technique you can practice is tensing and relaxing your muscles.

Do it now.

Start from the very bottom of your body with your toes and go all the way up to your neck -muscle by muscle.

Do you feel it?

After some days of doing this, you should be able to identify the tense areas of your body and work separably on them.

Mental Escape

Another way to stress down is to escape.

That is, mentally escape.

We all have our "happy place," and it's easier than you might think to go there...

Drift away to your happy place and stay there for a while... Sense the aromas around you, the sounds -but more than anything, embrace the feeling it gives you!

Breath!

The third and last one you already do daily -breathing. But I want you to breathe deeply. Every time something gets out of hand, stop, and take three slow deep breaths.

Trust me, you will feel the difference!

Lack of Movement And Stretching

Okay. This is the part where I tell you to move.

You might have already guessed it was coming...

Your body is a machine that needs activity to keep the life juices flowing. Studies have shown that the best way to maintain good spinal health while being in the office is to change the position of your body consistently.

Consider it this way: What happens to a car that never moves?

Exactly! It progressively deteriorates, right?

So:

Stand up from your desk and move every now and then. Walk around the office, go fill up your bottle in the water dispenser, -whatever it is, don't stay put in that chair for 8 hours!

The best way to keep up with moving constantly is to set the alarm every 1 hour or so while at the office. Similarly, adding some stretching every time you get up from your chair will prove to be immensely beneficial for your neck's health.

It couldn't be easier. You don't need a full yoga session to get some good neck stretches, keep it simple. Go ahead, try some right now:

  • Do some shoulder rolls backward and then forward,
  • with a straight back position tuck your chin in a couple of times,
  • roll your head around your shoulders, making full circles to the right and then to the left.

Give these simple stretches a chance and your neck will forever be grateful to you.

Conclusion

To sum up, these are some of the possible causes that could be acting as the villains behind that annoying pain in the neck of yours.

And just like in any villain story, the hero needs to attack with full strength to conquer his arch enemy.

The pains will not vanish by its self, you will need to give it your all and fight it to get rid of it!

I have given you some tools to your toolbox, now your part of the work begins.

Start to apply these fixes in your daily life as soon as possible. Be disciplined, and you will both see and feel the results.

I promise!

The post Here’s Why The Office Life Kills Your Neck, And What to do About it! appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>

Do you find yourself fighting against your sore neck after a long day in the office?

I do!

As much as 10% of the adult population is actually suffering from a stiff neck. That's one out of every ten!

A neck, like a train crash, is by far the most common physical issue amongst us office workers. 8 or more hours sitting at your desk in front of that screen in the office leaves you feeling as if you just ran a marathon - but with your neck and shoulders instead of your legs…

Oh, the pain!

The fact is:

Our daily lives are not really lenient when it comes to escaping our work routines. And the magical solution of quitting your job and finding something "less sedentary" is aloof to the vast majority of us. You need to pay your bills, right?

So what can you do then?

Well, don't panic! Where there is a problem, there is a solution!

Read on to discover the different reasons that might be causing you that upsetting neck pain.

But even better:

I will also give some pointers that might help you fix these annoying issues!

Let's get to it:

Your Workspace Needs Adjustment!

This one is pretty obvious. Because after all, your beloved office is the place where you spend most hours of your day.

According to Erik Larsen from hometraininghero.com, the way your workplace is set up plays the most important part of whichever body ailment you have after hours spent in the office: “Having an ergonomic and healthy office set-up is one of the best preventive measures you can do to keep your posterior chain free from those life-defining pains”.

Here are a few aspects that you should pay special attention to when setting up your workspace:

Your Chair

The chair is as crucial for an office worker as proper running shoes are for the runner.

While at work, your butt will most likely spend a big part of the day glued to your chair. With this in mind, your chair must be adjusted appropriately to your body, desk, and screen:

Adjust the height of it in such a way that your feet are flatly placed on the floor without your hip going above the knee level. This will make you sit in the best position for your spine and will also prevent your shoulders from hunching.

You should also be able to adjust the seat to a position where the edge is placed firmly under your knees. Your lower back should form a 90-degree angle from your hips while gaining support from the back of the chair.

In other words, forcing your employer to get you a decent chair will improve not only your productivity, but also your overall health!

Screen:

A poorly positioned screen can be the leading cause of your neck issues.

Think about it for a second:

If you watch a movie and slightly tilt your head to the side for some time, what happens?

Yep!

One side of your neck gets sore and uncomfortable.

The same effect takes place if you spend all day dropping your head forward to look at a computer screen that is placed too low on your field of view...

Ideally, the top frame of your monitor should be leveled with your eyes. This will slowly relieve tension from your neck as your vision will be set at eye level.

If your screen does not have sufficient adjustment opportunities, something as simple as a few books can be used to get your monitor to the right height.

Adjusting your screen is as simple as brushing your teeth... No excuses!

Keyboard and Mouse

The height and distance at which these elements are placed is another essential factor when it comes to neck pain in office workers.

Just picture it:

When the keyboard is too high on your desk, your body will inevitably compensate by shrugging your shoulders. This will, in turn, cause neck soreness and spasms in the long run.

The ideal position is one in which your forearms are parallel to the floor, and your wrists don't bend. If you use a laptop, it will be incredibly beneficial to get a separate keyboard and mouse.

Mixing Things up Will do Wonders For Your Stiff Neck

As you can see, little tweaks in your workspace could mean significant changes in the way your body responds to spending hours sitting in the office.

If you are still not sure about the right set up of your desk, please refer to the following link to get the exact measurements suited your body: https://www.ergotron.com/tools/workspace-planner.

You Are Stressing too Much!

We all suffer from it one way or another.

Life these days is not made for the faint-hearted!

  • Bills to pay every month,
  • the kids getting sick,
  • the daily commute to work trapped in rush hour,
  • your boss pushing you to deliver that report on… what was it again?

If this sounds familiar to you, chances are your poor neck and shoulders are feeling the tension.

So how do you deal with this?

To alleviate this tension, you may think I am going to suggest you go to a yoga retreat…

Well, that's not the case:

Stress-relieving techniques are simple and can be practiced anywhere, even from your desk at work!

So let's get down to business.

Relax

The first easy technique you can practice is tensing and relaxing your muscles.

Do it now.

Start from the very bottom of your body with your toes and go all the way up to your neck -muscle by muscle.

Do you feel it?

After some days of doing this, you should be able to identify the tense areas of your body and work separably on them.

Mental Escape

Another way to stress down is to escape.

That is, mentally escape.

We all have our "happy place," and it's easier than you might think to go there...

Drift away to your happy place and stay there for a while... Sense the aromas around you, the sounds -but more than anything, embrace the feeling it gives you!

Breath!

The third and last one you already do daily -breathing. But I want you to breathe deeply. Every time something gets out of hand, stop, and take three slow deep breaths.

Trust me, you will feel the difference!

Lack of Movement And Stretching

Okay. This is the part where I tell you to move.

You might have already guessed it was coming...

Your body is a machine that needs activity to keep the life juices flowing. Studies have shown that the best way to maintain good spinal health while being in the office is to change the position of your body consistently.

Consider it this way: What happens to a car that never moves?

Exactly! It progressively deteriorates, right?

So:

Stand up from your desk and move every now and then. Walk around the office, go fill up your bottle in the water dispenser, -whatever it is, don't stay put in that chair for 8 hours!

The best way to keep up with moving constantly is to set the alarm every 1 hour or so while at the office. Similarly, adding some stretching every time you get up from your chair will prove to be immensely beneficial for your neck's health.

It couldn't be easier. You don't need a full yoga session to get some good neck stretches, keep it simple. Go ahead, try some right now:

  • Do some shoulder rolls backward and then forward,
  • with a straight back position tuck your chin in a couple of times,
  • roll your head around your shoulders, making full circles to the right and then to the left.

Give these simple stretches a chance and your neck will forever be grateful to you.

Conclusion

To sum up, these are some of the possible causes that could be acting as the villains behind that annoying pain in the neck of yours.

And just like in any villain story, the hero needs to attack with full strength to conquer his arch enemy.

The pains will not vanish by its self, you will need to give it your all and fight it to get rid of it!

I have given you some tools to your toolbox, now your part of the work begins.

Start to apply these fixes in your daily life as soon as possible. Be disciplined, and you will both see and feel the results.

I promise!

The post Here’s Why The Office Life Kills Your Neck, And What to do About it! appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>
https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/heres-why-the-office-life-kills-your-neck-and-what-to-do-about-it/feed/ 3
6 Simple Ways to Combat Stress https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/6-simple-ways-to-combat-stress/ https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/6-simple-ways-to-combat-stress/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2020 04:21:11 +0000 https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/?p=80918

No doubt we live in stressful times. Political and social unrest and a pandemic are piling on top of the normal stresses of daily life. Undue stress can lead to insomnia, fatigue, headaches, depression, and serious medical conditions.

If you feel severely overwhelmed, it might be wise to consult a doctor. But there are six simple ways to combat stress on your own.

1. Go Outside and Take a Breath

Researchers know a breath of fresh air cleanses contaminants from your lungs. They also know your brain uses about 20% of the oxygen you take in, so the more air you get, the better your mind functions – and that makes you think more clearly and have a better state of mind. A little time in the sunshine also enhances your serotonin level – that’s a "feel good" hormone. Studies show a boost of serotonin in the mornings helps you sleep better at night.

2. Exercise

Source

You don’t have to run a marathon or spend hours on a stationary bike, but a reasonable amount of exercise will reduce stress. This can be as simple as a morning walk or a couple of hours of gardening. Exercise releases endorphins – another of those "feel good” hormones. The concentration involved in exercise also takes your mind off the things that are stressing you out.

3. Commune With Nature

Source

Being around plants alleviates stress. A little time in the backyard can help, and studies show having plants in your house reduces physiological and psychological stress. Plants stimulate positive reactions in brain activity, muscle tension, and heart activity. Some plants help you sleep better and indoor plants have the added benefit of cleaning toxins from the air.

4. Be Wary of Alcohol and Caffeine

Source

Some people reach for a drink in times of stress. Alcohol releases hormones that can give you short-term euphoria. But liquor is a central nervous system depressant, and too much of it actually increases stress and anxiety. Even something as benign as coffee can lead to problems. A cup of coffee in the morning or in the middle of the day can improve your mood, but three or four cups can have the opposite effect because caffeine contains cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone. The same is true of sugar. In stressful times the old adage "all things in moderation" takes on added importance.

5. Eat Healthy

Source

Most of us have heard this sermon all our lives, but a healthy diet is especially important in stressful times. That same hormone, cortisol, can be activated by stress, which gives the body an energy boost and a craving for foods that are high in fats and sugars. Giving in to this craving can lead to ailments ranging from heart disease and obesity to insomnia and depression. A balanced diet of essential vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats will keep your cortisol level in check.

6. Meditation

Source

Methods of relaxation can vary, and for many people relaxing means hitting the couch and turning on the TV. But to really reduce stress, you must go into a deep state of rest, which lowers your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. Some common techniques include meditation, yoga, and tai chi. Experiment until you find what works for you. Once you do, devote 10 to 20 minutes a day to it. Smartphone apps and smartwatches can help you track your progress.

Stress is an insidious affliction that can take hold without you knowing it. Keep an eye out for signs such as headaches, insomnia, restlessness, and abnormal fatigue. If you think you might be a victim, be proactive and take steps to reduce it.

Jennifer Li is a vegan, physical therapist, and yoga instructor who writes about spiritual and wellness issues for both humans and their companions.

The post 6 Simple Ways to Combat Stress appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>

No doubt we live in stressful times. Political and social unrest and a pandemic are piling on top of the normal stresses of daily life. Undue stress can lead to insomnia, fatigue, headaches, depression, and serious medical conditions.

If you feel severely overwhelmed, it might be wise to consult a doctor. But there are six simple ways to combat stress on your own.

1. Go Outside and Take a Breath

Researchers know a breath of fresh air cleanses contaminants from your lungs. They also know your brain uses about 20% of the oxygen you take in, so the more air you get, the better your mind functions – and that makes you think more clearly and have a better state of mind. A little time in the sunshine also enhances your serotonin level – that’s a "feel good" hormone. Studies show a boost of serotonin in the mornings helps you sleep better at night.

2. Exercise

Source

You don’t have to run a marathon or spend hours on a stationary bike, but a reasonable amount of exercise will reduce stress. This can be as simple as a morning walk or a couple of hours of gardening. Exercise releases endorphins – another of those "feel good” hormones. The concentration involved in exercise also takes your mind off the things that are stressing you out.

3. Commune With Nature

Source

Being around plants alleviates stress. A little time in the backyard can help, and studies show having plants in your house reduces physiological and psychological stress. Plants stimulate positive reactions in brain activity, muscle tension, and heart activity. Some plants help you sleep better and indoor plants have the added benefit of cleaning toxins from the air.

4. Be Wary of Alcohol and Caffeine

Source

Some people reach for a drink in times of stress. Alcohol releases hormones that can give you short-term euphoria. But liquor is a central nervous system depressant, and too much of it actually increases stress and anxiety. Even something as benign as coffee can lead to problems. A cup of coffee in the morning or in the middle of the day can improve your mood, but three or four cups can have the opposite effect because caffeine contains cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone. The same is true of sugar. In stressful times the old adage "all things in moderation" takes on added importance.

5. Eat Healthy

Source

Most of us have heard this sermon all our lives, but a healthy diet is especially important in stressful times. That same hormone, cortisol, can be activated by stress, which gives the body an energy boost and a craving for foods that are high in fats and sugars. Giving in to this craving can lead to ailments ranging from heart disease and obesity to insomnia and depression. A balanced diet of essential vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats will keep your cortisol level in check.

6. Meditation

Source

Methods of relaxation can vary, and for many people relaxing means hitting the couch and turning on the TV. But to really reduce stress, you must go into a deep state of rest, which lowers your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. Some common techniques include meditation, yoga, and tai chi. Experiment until you find what works for you. Once you do, devote 10 to 20 minutes a day to it. Smartphone apps and smartwatches can help you track your progress.

Stress is an insidious affliction that can take hold without you knowing it. Keep an eye out for signs such as headaches, insomnia, restlessness, and abnormal fatigue. If you think you might be a victim, be proactive and take steps to reduce it.

Jennifer Li is a vegan, physical therapist, and yoga instructor who writes about spiritual and wellness issues for both humans and their companions.

The post 6 Simple Ways to Combat Stress appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>
https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/6-simple-ways-to-combat-stress/feed/ 3
7 Ways Successful People Handle Criticism https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/7-ways-successful-people-handle-criticism/ https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/7-ways-successful-people-handle-criticism/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2020 04:26:14 +0000 https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/?p=80894

Criticism can come from people you know: your co-workers, your boss, your colleagues, and even your loved ones. It can also come from strangers, people commenting on social media, rude customers, a driver on the road, and so on.

Criticism is that look that precedes the silent treatment the wife gives you (and you probably deserve) when you forget her birthday.

The point is you can’t go through life without criticism.

You will often find criticism hard to ignore. Criticism attacks who you are, how you see yourself, and your sense of confidence. The way you choose to deal with criticism affects other areas of your life. Therefore, you must put in place mechanisms and strategies to deal with the sharp, barbed arrows of criticism.

1. Take a moment before you respond to criticism

When you are the object of a critic’s acerbic attention, you mustn’t react in anger and create a situation that can get out of hand. Learn to look at the situation objectively and avoid personalizing it. Criticism is just the personal opinion of the critic and is not a reflection of who you are.

2. Distinguish between constructive criticism and destructive criticism

Criticism can be useful when the intention is to give valuable feedback, or it can be disastrous if the sole aim is to hurt. When you can distinguish between the two types of criticism, you will be better equipped to deal with any criticism you face.

The main difference between both types of criticism is the intent of the person criticizing you. Constructive criticism is made to point out your errors to help you identify areas you can improve. The goal of constructive criticism is to help you become a better version of yourself and not to put you down.

On the other hand, destructive criticism is often malicious, the person making the criticism is not offering any solutions or trying to help you get better; instead, the person is attacking your self-esteem and your confidence.

To identify the type of criticism you are facing, you should listen carefully and try to understand the intentions of the person criticizing you. If the criticism identifies a problem you have and it offers a solution, then it is constructive. If it doesn’t and just wants to run you down, then it is destructive.

3. Turn a deaf ear to destructive criticism

If reporting to a superior is not an option, then you should confront the culprit. You should make it clear how that person or group of individuals have attacked your character, and that you want that person to stop criticizing you.

Always remember that the words of a destructive critic are not a reflection of your true self and block it out.

4. Constructive criticism? Deal with it wisely

When you face constructive criticism, you should try and see things from the perspective of the person criticizing you, try to identify suggestions that can help you improve as an individual. If you see constructive criticism as a learning experience and you use it wisely, you will be a better and stronger person because of it.

5. Keep believing in yourself

It is also essential that you don’t allow criticism to impact your sense of self-esteem negatively. Stay true to yourself. By staying true to yourself, you can draw on your inner strength to deal with the setbacks you face.

Confidence in yourself also helps you to distinguish between criticism that is designed to help you get better and criticism that is made with the intent to hurt you.

6. Act on criticism

You have listened to your critic, you have decided if the criticism is constructive or destructive, now you need to act on the criticism.

If the criticism is constructive, address the issues raised by the person and work towards becoming a better person.

If someone has criticized you in a way that is helpful and to aid you in fixing your flaws, thank that person. When you appreciate sincere criticism, you have shown maturity, and that person will be more likely in the future to give feedback in a friendly and supportive manner.

If the criticism is hurtful, try to understand what motivated that person to attack you. The person could have been jealous, the person could have been lashing out due to a bad mood, or the person could simply be a very malicious individual. What is important is that you know that a person’s opinions do not reflect who you indeed are.

7. Learn from it

Criticism is everywhere. At home, at your workplace, when meeting strangers, you will always face criticism in one form or the other. This is why you must accept criticism as a fact of life.

Constructive criticism provides you with a learning opportunity, and it is feedback on the quality of decisions you have made in life. If you learn from it, you can become a better person.

In closing

If what you are doing works for you, and you can’t identify any positive suggestions from the criticism you face, then please don’t change who you are just to please others. It means you believe in your ability, and you don’t let the opinion of others affect your self-esteem.

Keep your distance from people who derive joy in hurting others and putting people down. Hang out with people who sincerely care about you, and who are comfortable with the real you.

----------
Bernz JP is the blogger behind Moneylogue.com. Bernz believes that financial knowledge and the right mindset are the two main ingredients of financial success. He is a writer and loves to write about the importance of practicing self-discipline to achieve success in life

The post 7 Ways Successful People Handle Criticism appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>

Criticism can come from people you know: your co-workers, your boss, your colleagues, and even your loved ones. It can also come from strangers, people commenting on social media, rude customers, a driver on the road, and so on.

Criticism is that look that precedes the silent treatment the wife gives you (and you probably deserve) when you forget her birthday.

The point is you can’t go through life without criticism.

You will often find criticism hard to ignore. Criticism attacks who you are, how you see yourself, and your sense of confidence. The way you choose to deal with criticism affects other areas of your life. Therefore, you must put in place mechanisms and strategies to deal with the sharp, barbed arrows of criticism.

1. Take a moment before you respond to criticism

When you are the object of a critic’s acerbic attention, you mustn’t react in anger and create a situation that can get out of hand. Learn to look at the situation objectively and avoid personalizing it. Criticism is just the personal opinion of the critic and is not a reflection of who you are.

2. Distinguish between constructive criticism and destructive criticism

Criticism can be useful when the intention is to give valuable feedback, or it can be disastrous if the sole aim is to hurt. When you can distinguish between the two types of criticism, you will be better equipped to deal with any criticism you face.

The main difference between both types of criticism is the intent of the person criticizing you. Constructive criticism is made to point out your errors to help you identify areas you can improve. The goal of constructive criticism is to help you become a better version of yourself and not to put you down.

On the other hand, destructive criticism is often malicious, the person making the criticism is not offering any solutions or trying to help you get better; instead, the person is attacking your self-esteem and your confidence.

To identify the type of criticism you are facing, you should listen carefully and try to understand the intentions of the person criticizing you. If the criticism identifies a problem you have and it offers a solution, then it is constructive. If it doesn’t and just wants to run you down, then it is destructive.

3. Turn a deaf ear to destructive criticism

If reporting to a superior is not an option, then you should confront the culprit. You should make it clear how that person or group of individuals have attacked your character, and that you want that person to stop criticizing you.

Always remember that the words of a destructive critic are not a reflection of your true self and block it out.

4. Constructive criticism? Deal with it wisely

When you face constructive criticism, you should try and see things from the perspective of the person criticizing you, try to identify suggestions that can help you improve as an individual. If you see constructive criticism as a learning experience and you use it wisely, you will be a better and stronger person because of it.

5. Keep believing in yourself

It is also essential that you don’t allow criticism to impact your sense of self-esteem negatively. Stay true to yourself. By staying true to yourself, you can draw on your inner strength to deal with the setbacks you face.

Confidence in yourself also helps you to distinguish between criticism that is designed to help you get better and criticism that is made with the intent to hurt you.

6. Act on criticism

You have listened to your critic, you have decided if the criticism is constructive or destructive, now you need to act on the criticism.

If the criticism is constructive, address the issues raised by the person and work towards becoming a better person.

If someone has criticized you in a way that is helpful and to aid you in fixing your flaws, thank that person. When you appreciate sincere criticism, you have shown maturity, and that person will be more likely in the future to give feedback in a friendly and supportive manner.

If the criticism is hurtful, try to understand what motivated that person to attack you. The person could have been jealous, the person could have been lashing out due to a bad mood, or the person could simply be a very malicious individual. What is important is that you know that a person’s opinions do not reflect who you indeed are.

7. Learn from it

Criticism is everywhere. At home, at your workplace, when meeting strangers, you will always face criticism in one form or the other. This is why you must accept criticism as a fact of life.

Constructive criticism provides you with a learning opportunity, and it is feedback on the quality of decisions you have made in life. If you learn from it, you can become a better person.

In closing

If what you are doing works for you, and you can’t identify any positive suggestions from the criticism you face, then please don’t change who you are just to please others. It means you believe in your ability, and you don’t let the opinion of others affect your self-esteem.

Keep your distance from people who derive joy in hurting others and putting people down. Hang out with people who sincerely care about you, and who are comfortable with the real you.

----------
Bernz JP is the blogger behind Moneylogue.com. Bernz believes that financial knowledge and the right mindset are the two main ingredients of financial success. He is a writer and loves to write about the importance of practicing self-discipline to achieve success in life

The post 7 Ways Successful People Handle Criticism appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>
https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/7-ways-successful-people-handle-criticism/feed/ 9
5 Things to Do When You’ve Got Too Much On Your Plate https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-things-to-do-when-youve-got-too-much-on-your-plate/ https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-things-to-do-when-youve-got-too-much-on-your-plate/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2020 03:57:53 +0000 https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/?p=80871

I guess we've all been there sometimes – waking up in the morning, tired of the very thought of the day ahead of us, still exhausted from yesterdays' chores. Our already low levels of energy pop like a balloon when we visualize our very first errand and a seemingly neverending list of tasks waiting to be finished.

Sometimes, we don't even notice when we start to overcommit and take on much more than we can handle. Some of us find it hard to say "no" to our bosses, friends, kids, or partners. Others find it hard to say "no" to themselves, yearning to achieve more or do better, in a culture that doesn't tolerate the concept of "enough."

However, having too much on your plate for a long time is a surefire way to burnout, which is now finally recognized as an official medical condition.

If it's your work that is mainly affected, you may take sick leave. You can hardly take a break from your life if overcommitting is built into your everyday routine as well.

You need to reset some things in your life to regain the balance. Here are the five essential things to begin with.

1.   Reconnect With Your Authentic Self

When we run through our days on autopilot, it's easier than ever to lose touch with ourselves - persons we used to be, are, and we once hoped we would become.

In between taking our kids to school or after-school classes, getting the laundry done, and answering an "urgent" business email on Saturday evening, we rarely have a moment to spare to be alone with our thoughts, let alone our feelings, forgotten needs, and desires.

It's not easy to reconnect with yourself once you lose this touch, and it will take a lot of determination to do so. Some succeed by journaling their feelings; some find techniques such as mindfulness or meditation helpful to reestablish this connection.

Others feel the need to embark on a journey and find the way to their inner beings while traveling, especially alone. My transformative path was a pilgrimage I took several years ago. As I can see, many others share a similar inspiration for walking the Camino de Santiago, and have similar experiences during and after hitting the road.

2.   Re-Evaluate and Prioritize

Once you reconnect with your inner self, you'll know your priorities almost spontaneously, as you will feel their value.

However, as this process will take some time, approach your list of errands more rationally, by answering the following:

  • Do the things I devote my time to add value?
  • If I commit to this, who will benefit?
  • Is this commitment important for me, or do I enjoy it?
  • Is there an easier or less time-consuming way to do it?
  • Does it somehow affect my health?
  • Can somebody else do it instead of me?

Going through these questions will help you decide between the tasks that are worthy of your time and energy and those that simply aren't.

3.   Delegate and Share Responsibilities

Along with learning to say "no," you should consider learning how to identify the tasks you can delegate or share responsibilities for.

When you are left with the things that need to be done, try to determine whether those things need to be done by you or someone else may step up and pick up the slack.

If you're overwhelmed with menial tasks on work, and if there's no one to delegate these duties to, look for other resources, such as outsourcing or automating specific tasks. Think about all your household chores also. There are certainly errands your partner can take over, as well as your children. You don't have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders!

4.   Learn to Say No

Learning when and how to say "no" is one of the tougher lessons one has to learn, but it's vital for keeping balance in life. It is especially difficult when you have to say no to the things and people worthy of your time and effort.

Even if you want to do it all, remind yourself of the outcome- all the stress from not being able to manage, possibly failing to finish many instead of excelling at a few well-chosen activities while also deteriorating your peace of mind and health. Which one would you choose?

5.   Ask For Professional Support

Not everyone's plate can hold an equal portion, neither can we all handle the same amount of burden – regardless of whether it's an emotional, professional, or physical one. Too much stress in our life takes a toll on both our physical and mental health and sometimes the reason behind our low energy levels lies in a chemical imbalance or inadequate coping mechanisms.

If you find that you're overwhelmed with your everyday life, and seem to have difficulties coping with each new day, don't go on feeling bad about yourself and comparing yourself to others, and all they seem to manage over the course of a single day.

At times, the support of a professional can be just what you need for your healing process to begin, and a way for your jigsaw to fall into place.


I’m Rebecca, a translator and avid traveler, a book worm and horror flick enthusiast. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draft gives me a chance to try to showcase some of them.

The post 5 Things to Do When You’ve Got Too Much On Your Plate appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>

I guess we've all been there sometimes – waking up in the morning, tired of the very thought of the day ahead of us, still exhausted from yesterdays' chores. Our already low levels of energy pop like a balloon when we visualize our very first errand and a seemingly neverending list of tasks waiting to be finished.

Sometimes, we don't even notice when we start to overcommit and take on much more than we can handle. Some of us find it hard to say "no" to our bosses, friends, kids, or partners. Others find it hard to say "no" to themselves, yearning to achieve more or do better, in a culture that doesn't tolerate the concept of "enough."

However, having too much on your plate for a long time is a surefire way to burnout, which is now finally recognized as an official medical condition.

If it's your work that is mainly affected, you may take sick leave. You can hardly take a break from your life if overcommitting is built into your everyday routine as well.

You need to reset some things in your life to regain the balance. Here are the five essential things to begin with.

1.   Reconnect With Your Authentic Self

When we run through our days on autopilot, it's easier than ever to lose touch with ourselves - persons we used to be, are, and we once hoped we would become.

In between taking our kids to school or after-school classes, getting the laundry done, and answering an "urgent" business email on Saturday evening, we rarely have a moment to spare to be alone with our thoughts, let alone our feelings, forgotten needs, and desires.

It's not easy to reconnect with yourself once you lose this touch, and it will take a lot of determination to do so. Some succeed by journaling their feelings; some find techniques such as mindfulness or meditation helpful to reestablish this connection.

Others feel the need to embark on a journey and find the way to their inner beings while traveling, especially alone. My transformative path was a pilgrimage I took several years ago. As I can see, many others share a similar inspiration for walking the Camino de Santiago, and have similar experiences during and after hitting the road.

2.   Re-Evaluate and Prioritize

Once you reconnect with your inner self, you'll know your priorities almost spontaneously, as you will feel their value.

However, as this process will take some time, approach your list of errands more rationally, by answering the following:

  • Do the things I devote my time to add value?
  • If I commit to this, who will benefit?
  • Is this commitment important for me, or do I enjoy it?
  • Is there an easier or less time-consuming way to do it?
  • Does it somehow affect my health?
  • Can somebody else do it instead of me?

Going through these questions will help you decide between the tasks that are worthy of your time and energy and those that simply aren't.

3.   Delegate and Share Responsibilities

Along with learning to say "no," you should consider learning how to identify the tasks you can delegate or share responsibilities for.

When you are left with the things that need to be done, try to determine whether those things need to be done by you or someone else may step up and pick up the slack.

If you're overwhelmed with menial tasks on work, and if there's no one to delegate these duties to, look for other resources, such as outsourcing or automating specific tasks. Think about all your household chores also. There are certainly errands your partner can take over, as well as your children. You don't have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders!

4.   Learn to Say No

Learning when and how to say "no" is one of the tougher lessons one has to learn, but it's vital for keeping balance in life. It is especially difficult when you have to say no to the things and people worthy of your time and effort.

Even if you want to do it all, remind yourself of the outcome- all the stress from not being able to manage, possibly failing to finish many instead of excelling at a few well-chosen activities while also deteriorating your peace of mind and health. Which one would you choose?

5.   Ask For Professional Support

Not everyone's plate can hold an equal portion, neither can we all handle the same amount of burden – regardless of whether it's an emotional, professional, or physical one. Too much stress in our life takes a toll on both our physical and mental health and sometimes the reason behind our low energy levels lies in a chemical imbalance or inadequate coping mechanisms.

If you find that you're overwhelmed with your everyday life, and seem to have difficulties coping with each new day, don't go on feeling bad about yourself and comparing yourself to others, and all they seem to manage over the course of a single day.

At times, the support of a professional can be just what you need for your healing process to begin, and a way for your jigsaw to fall into place.


I’m Rebecca, a translator and avid traveler, a book worm and horror flick enthusiast. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draft gives me a chance to try to showcase some of them.

The post 5 Things to Do When You’ve Got Too Much On Your Plate appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>
https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-things-to-do-when-youve-got-too-much-on-your-plate/feed/ 9
Improve Your Productivity With CBD Products https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/improve-your-productivity-with-cbd-products/ https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/improve-your-productivity-with-cbd-products/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2020 02:22:12 +0000 https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/?p=80850

Many of today's careers require a lot of focused attention and productivity, and employees who want to get ahead must keep up with face-paced competition while avoiding too much stress. As technology and other changes continue to affect many industries, employees are commonly confronted with changing expectations and have to move quickly to remain relevant. If this situation sounds familiar, you may be interested in learning about the use of cannabis oil to ease anxiety and alleviate sleep disorders. With the right CBD product, you may find that it's possible to improve productivity without dangerously increasing your heart rate. 

CBD and Your Workday 

You probably shouldn't use more than one CBD lifestyle product in more than one day. The products tend to have targeted purposes, and this should help you determine which product is best for you on any specific day. If you do intend to use more than one form of cannabis, make sure you understand how to use them safely. For example, if you are using medical marijuana, talk with your medical care provider before drinking a cup of coffee with added hemp oil. Many products have a relatively small amount of CBD, generally from 5 to 25 mg, so do a bit of math ahead of time to avoid using more than is safe. With safe use in mind, take a look at some of the ways CBD might help you. 

Improved Sleep at Night

It seems that just about every job today comes with a high dose of stress. Whether you work at an ice cream shop or a law firm, there's a lot of pressure to do your job better and faster. Daily heaping doses of stress keep many workers struggling to fall asleep at night. Sleepless nights result in grouchiness, increased potential for accidents, slower thinking, chronic health problems, and depression, among other negative consequences. Oral CBD sprays have been effective at alleviating some of these symptoms while also helping people to avoid insomnia. 

Reduced Levels of Stress 

Stress isn't just affecting sleep habits, either. Studies in the United States show that high levels of work-related stress lead to decreased productivity. As employees become anxious, their ability to concentrate and really focus on their work is negatively impacted. This leads to overall decreases in performance and drops in work quality. Naturally, this affects each company's bottom line. In addition to leading to lost revenue, stressed employees take more time off and drive up healthcare costs. In fact, work-related stress has also been linked to more than 100,000 deaths in the United States every year. 

It has been difficult for many researchers to fully understand how cannabis products work and whether the products really do deliver the benefits that users claim. However, there is scientific evidence that low doses of cannabis are effective at reducing stress and improving moods. CBD products with low levels of THC are best for reducing stress. More research is necessary, but users can feel confident knowing that the results of ongoing studies align with claims from CBD retailers.  

Relief From Aches and Pains

You don't have to wait until it's time for bed to get relief from work-related stress. You can take advantage of discreet products that help you feel calmer and more confident while at work. For example, a salve stick delivers a topical dose of CBD that is slowly absorbed into your system, leaving you with a general feeling of wellbeing throughout your day. If your job requires physical exertion, you could snack on a protein bar with added CBD to reduce muscle aches and help you stay focused until the end of your shift. 

Strengthen Your Ability to Focus

As you get more sleep and decrease your feelings of anxiety, you will naturally have more energy, feel calmer, and focus more easily. As your ability to focus increases, you'll also find that it's easier to concentrate, problem-solve, and give attention to the details of your job. 

How To Use CBD Products for Work Improvement

To effectively use CBD products, start by identifying your primary goal. Do you need to sleep better? Are you looking for a way to feel calmer at work? For the best results, choose one goal: more sleep, pain relief, reduced stress, or boosted mood, for example. 

Once you know what you want to achieve, it's easier to decide which product you'll use for the day. This step involves choosing the product that helps you reach your goal:

  • CBD oils are administered with a dropper. If it's possible to take smaller doses, you can microdose to enjoy the benefits throughout the day, instead of all at once. 
  • Gummies deliver a full dose (typically 10 mg of CBD) in one bite. They tend to come in a variety of flavors.
  • Pain creams are spread over aching muscles in the same way you'd use lotion or other ointments. 
  • Other topicals, such as lotion and a CBD salve stick, are often available without a prescription. In addition to alleviating stress or helping you sleep, you can also enjoy smoother, healthier skin. 
  • Sprays are often used to deliver a consumable form of CBD that works throughout your system.

If you're struggling to sleep, for example, a spray or dropper is the faster way to get the CBD into your system, so you can drift off to sleep. If you find that you need to calm down or focus more at work, a gummy or salve stick used several times during the day may deliver the lasting effects you need. 

You don't need to let stress interfere with your enjoyment of work or your ability to sleep. Learn more about how cannabis and CBD products can help you counteract the negative effects of the stress in your life. There may be a consumable or topical that provides the relief you need. 

The post Improve Your Productivity With CBD Products appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>

Many of today's careers require a lot of focused attention and productivity, and employees who want to get ahead must keep up with face-paced competition while avoiding too much stress. As technology and other changes continue to affect many industries, employees are commonly confronted with changing expectations and have to move quickly to remain relevant. If this situation sounds familiar, you may be interested in learning about the use of cannabis oil to ease anxiety and alleviate sleep disorders. With the right CBD product, you may find that it's possible to improve productivity without dangerously increasing your heart rate. 

CBD and Your Workday 

You probably shouldn't use more than one CBD lifestyle product in more than one day. The products tend to have targeted purposes, and this should help you determine which product is best for you on any specific day. If you do intend to use more than one form of cannabis, make sure you understand how to use them safely. For example, if you are using medical marijuana, talk with your medical care provider before drinking a cup of coffee with added hemp oil. Many products have a relatively small amount of CBD, generally from 5 to 25 mg, so do a bit of math ahead of time to avoid using more than is safe. With safe use in mind, take a look at some of the ways CBD might help you. 

Improved Sleep at Night

It seems that just about every job today comes with a high dose of stress. Whether you work at an ice cream shop or a law firm, there's a lot of pressure to do your job better and faster. Daily heaping doses of stress keep many workers struggling to fall asleep at night. Sleepless nights result in grouchiness, increased potential for accidents, slower thinking, chronic health problems, and depression, among other negative consequences. Oral CBD sprays have been effective at alleviating some of these symptoms while also helping people to avoid insomnia. 

Reduced Levels of Stress 

Stress isn't just affecting sleep habits, either. Studies in the United States show that high levels of work-related stress lead to decreased productivity. As employees become anxious, their ability to concentrate and really focus on their work is negatively impacted. This leads to overall decreases in performance and drops in work quality. Naturally, this affects each company's bottom line. In addition to leading to lost revenue, stressed employees take more time off and drive up healthcare costs. In fact, work-related stress has also been linked to more than 100,000 deaths in the United States every year. 

It has been difficult for many researchers to fully understand how cannabis products work and whether the products really do deliver the benefits that users claim. However, there is scientific evidence that low doses of cannabis are effective at reducing stress and improving moods. CBD products with low levels of THC are best for reducing stress. More research is necessary, but users can feel confident knowing that the results of ongoing studies align with claims from CBD retailers.  

Relief From Aches and Pains

You don't have to wait until it's time for bed to get relief from work-related stress. You can take advantage of discreet products that help you feel calmer and more confident while at work. For example, a salve stick delivers a topical dose of CBD that is slowly absorbed into your system, leaving you with a general feeling of wellbeing throughout your day. If your job requires physical exertion, you could snack on a protein bar with added CBD to reduce muscle aches and help you stay focused until the end of your shift. 

Strengthen Your Ability to Focus

As you get more sleep and decrease your feelings of anxiety, you will naturally have more energy, feel calmer, and focus more easily. As your ability to focus increases, you'll also find that it's easier to concentrate, problem-solve, and give attention to the details of your job. 

How To Use CBD Products for Work Improvement

To effectively use CBD products, start by identifying your primary goal. Do you need to sleep better? Are you looking for a way to feel calmer at work? For the best results, choose one goal: more sleep, pain relief, reduced stress, or boosted mood, for example. 

Once you know what you want to achieve, it's easier to decide which product you'll use for the day. This step involves choosing the product that helps you reach your goal:

  • CBD oils are administered with a dropper. If it's possible to take smaller doses, you can microdose to enjoy the benefits throughout the day, instead of all at once. 
  • Gummies deliver a full dose (typically 10 mg of CBD) in one bite. They tend to come in a variety of flavors.
  • Pain creams are spread over aching muscles in the same way you'd use lotion or other ointments. 
  • Other topicals, such as lotion and a CBD salve stick, are often available without a prescription. In addition to alleviating stress or helping you sleep, you can also enjoy smoother, healthier skin. 
  • Sprays are often used to deliver a consumable form of CBD that works throughout your system.

If you're struggling to sleep, for example, a spray or dropper is the faster way to get the CBD into your system, so you can drift off to sleep. If you find that you need to calm down or focus more at work, a gummy or salve stick used several times during the day may deliver the lasting effects you need. 

You don't need to let stress interfere with your enjoyment of work or your ability to sleep. Learn more about how cannabis and CBD products can help you counteract the negative effects of the stress in your life. There may be a consumable or topical that provides the relief you need. 

The post Improve Your Productivity With CBD Products appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>
https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/improve-your-productivity-with-cbd-products/feed/ 2
2 Ways To Limit Distraction And (Actually) Get Work Done https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/2-ways-to-limit-distraction-and-actually-get-work-done/ https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/2-ways-to-limit-distraction-and-actually-get-work-done/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2020 01:39:20 +0000 https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/?p=80828


Opportunities to learn are all around you. From every misstep you take, to every negative encounter or hard day at work, lessons abound. Each moment of friction carries with it something to be gained.

Take my life at this moment, for instance.

I work from home. And, normally, it's a pretty great setup. I sit at a neat desk located next to a large window. The window overlooks a lush, green canyon and when it's open a warm breeze blows throughout my home.

I play music on my white Sonos speaker to stay in the zone, focused on writing.

I'm productive.

A balance

Life has recently changed though (for the better). My wife and I had our first child some months ago and are enjoying our time with her immensely.

However, because our childcare resources are currently limited and we are both working from home, a new balancing act has come into play. We're doing a tightrope walk; both trying to be as productive as possible while making sure our daughter is learning, entertained, and getting the love and attention she deserves.

My days of long, uninterrupted stints of working at my desk are gone.

Now, it's a balance.

A balance between attentive Dad and effective business owner.

And because of that, distraction is easier than ever to fall victim to. Fortunately, my wife and I have found our footing with time and have created an equal partnership as both involved parent and effective worker.

It started off a little rocky, but each new moment of challenge, of discomfort, serves as an opportunity for learning, adjustment, communication, improvement. And from that, we've created something that works for us.

Two ways to reduce distraction

Still, just because we struck a balance doesn't mean I'm able to focus as well as I used to. There's a lot more going on than ever before. Aware of that friction though, I do two things that are absolutely crucial in my ability to remain productive throughout chaotic days.

Two things that you can use to your advantage, that you can do next time distractions arise in your life.

1. Set boundaries

One of the keys to the successful balance that my wife and I have been able to strike (at the moment), is through the setting of boundaries.

Well, maybe not boundaries. More like expectations.

Because we both currently work full-time and watch our daughter, lines need to be clearly drawn of who does what and when. So, we sit down and work through it together. My wife is the head parent for a few hours, then we switch.

We know exactly when we will have time to be productive, and when we won't.

Slack

Another example of expectation-setting can be found by looking at my business. Among other things, I help individuals achieve their goals by coaching them. Currently, I am working with a group of three. It's incredibly rewarding and a lot of fun!

We do weekly video calls and also communicate frequently over the chat-app, Slack.

But going into it I knew that Slack is a huge distraction. With notifications constantly popping up and conversations going on left and right, I knew that if I didn't put a boundary in place from the outset, Slack would consume my life.

So before even starting the program, I set the expectation:

I will occasionally be on Slack throughout the week to field any questions, but there's no set time. However, for one hour a week, I will be 100% available on Slack for anything you want to discuss. If you have something you want to talk about, you know where to find me.

Through setting that simple boundary upfront, my awesome group knows two things:

  1. They may catch me on Slack at a random time throughout the week
  2. But they can absolutely get ahold of me during my set office hours

This expectation has allowed me to limit the distraction of Slack while staying productive and keeping my group engaged.

Stick to the expectation

In your life then, you can do the same thing. Instead of letting people barge into your office anytime or letting random calls and texts dominate your life, set a boundary. Tell them when they can expect to hear from you and, more importantly, when they can't.

Then stick to it.

If you tell a client you don't answer calls after five, don't answer after-five calls. If you tell friends that you only respond to texts at lunch, only respond to texts at lunch.

Now, you're probably rolling your eyes thinking: C'mon. No one is that rigid.

And... you're right.

You can answer that call or respond to that text whenever you want. If it's not in the hours you specified, that's fine. What matters is that you set the expectation. So if you want to answer that post-five-o'clock call, go ahead.

Answer it because you want to though, not because you need to.

If you want to answer it, go for it. But if there's a more pressing project staring at you in the face, hold strong on the boundary you set. Be deliberate about your distractions and set the expectation for the kinds that you do or do not allow through the gate.

2. Block out the noise

I enjoy working from coffee shops. It feels... fancy? Is that the right word? It feels... screw it... Finding the right word doesn't matter.

All that matters is that I enjoy it.

Now, I don't always work from coffee shops, but when I do I make sure to bring headphones with me. Because when I'm working, if I hear a blender in the background or someone talking on the phone, I become completely distracted.

My focus goes to zero.

But throwing in headphones gets me back on track. Suddenly, I can resume my work and make the progress that I need to.

Put those headphones in

When you're working, you need to be in control of your environment. If you're in a busy office setting or a loud restaurant, having the ability to block out noise so that you can focus on what's in front of you is a must.

So when you find outside factors distracting you:

  • Put your headphones in
  • Go to YouTube
  • Search for focus music (something like this is perfect)
  • And hone in on what you're working on

Even if music isn't your "thing," give this a try next time you're feeling distracted. It will help.

*Side note: Be sure to put on a long playlist with an uplifting rhythm and little-to-no words. Words will distract you, slow music may make you melancholy, and short playlists end leaving you to find something new to listen to.

Moving forward with less distraction

See each moment of friction as an opportunity for learning and growth. Do you get distracted by loud coworkers? Try putting your headphones in. Is your boss driving you crazy with her late-night "urgent" emails? Set boundaries.

Recognize the distractions that derail you and treat them as areas for improvement. Remove the friction and create a system that allows you to actually get your work done.

If I can manage to be productive at home with a teething baby, you have no excuse. You got this!

----

Corey Fradin is the Founder of QuickBooost - a blog that helps you do more with your time (productivity, goal setting, that kind of thing). His passion for goal setting has led to him helping countless individuals finally achieve their goals.


Image Credit: Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

The post 2 Ways To Limit Distraction And (Actually) Get Work Done appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>


Opportunities to learn are all around you. From every misstep you take, to every negative encounter or hard day at work, lessons abound. Each moment of friction carries with it something to be gained.

Take my life at this moment, for instance.

I work from home. And, normally, it's a pretty great setup. I sit at a neat desk located next to a large window. The window overlooks a lush, green canyon and when it's open a warm breeze blows throughout my home.

I play music on my white Sonos speaker to stay in the zone, focused on writing.

I'm productive.

A balance

Life has recently changed though (for the better). My wife and I had our first child some months ago and are enjoying our time with her immensely.

However, because our childcare resources are currently limited and we are both working from home, a new balancing act has come into play. We're doing a tightrope walk; both trying to be as productive as possible while making sure our daughter is learning, entertained, and getting the love and attention she deserves.

My days of long, uninterrupted stints of working at my desk are gone.

Now, it's a balance.

A balance between attentive Dad and effective business owner.

And because of that, distraction is easier than ever to fall victim to. Fortunately, my wife and I have found our footing with time and have created an equal partnership as both involved parent and effective worker.

It started off a little rocky, but each new moment of challenge, of discomfort, serves as an opportunity for learning, adjustment, communication, improvement. And from that, we've created something that works for us.

Two ways to reduce distraction

Still, just because we struck a balance doesn't mean I'm able to focus as well as I used to. There's a lot more going on than ever before. Aware of that friction though, I do two things that are absolutely crucial in my ability to remain productive throughout chaotic days.

Two things that you can use to your advantage, that you can do next time distractions arise in your life.

1. Set boundaries

One of the keys to the successful balance that my wife and I have been able to strike (at the moment), is through the setting of boundaries.

Well, maybe not boundaries. More like expectations.

Because we both currently work full-time and watch our daughter, lines need to be clearly drawn of who does what and when. So, we sit down and work through it together. My wife is the head parent for a few hours, then we switch.

We know exactly when we will have time to be productive, and when we won't.

Slack

Another example of expectation-setting can be found by looking at my business. Among other things, I help individuals achieve their goals by coaching them. Currently, I am working with a group of three. It's incredibly rewarding and a lot of fun!

We do weekly video calls and also communicate frequently over the chat-app, Slack.

But going into it I knew that Slack is a huge distraction. With notifications constantly popping up and conversations going on left and right, I knew that if I didn't put a boundary in place from the outset, Slack would consume my life.

So before even starting the program, I set the expectation:

I will occasionally be on Slack throughout the week to field any questions, but there's no set time. However, for one hour a week, I will be 100% available on Slack for anything you want to discuss. If you have something you want to talk about, you know where to find me.

Through setting that simple boundary upfront, my awesome group knows two things:

  1. They may catch me on Slack at a random time throughout the week
  2. But they can absolutely get ahold of me during my set office hours

This expectation has allowed me to limit the distraction of Slack while staying productive and keeping my group engaged.

Stick to the expectation

In your life then, you can do the same thing. Instead of letting people barge into your office anytime or letting random calls and texts dominate your life, set a boundary. Tell them when they can expect to hear from you and, more importantly, when they can't.

Then stick to it.

If you tell a client you don't answer calls after five, don't answer after-five calls. If you tell friends that you only respond to texts at lunch, only respond to texts at lunch.

Now, you're probably rolling your eyes thinking: C'mon. No one is that rigid.

And... you're right.

You can answer that call or respond to that text whenever you want. If it's not in the hours you specified, that's fine. What matters is that you set the expectation. So if you want to answer that post-five-o'clock call, go ahead.

Answer it because you want to though, not because you need to.

If you want to answer it, go for it. But if there's a more pressing project staring at you in the face, hold strong on the boundary you set. Be deliberate about your distractions and set the expectation for the kinds that you do or do not allow through the gate.

2. Block out the noise

I enjoy working from coffee shops. It feels... fancy? Is that the right word? It feels... screw it... Finding the right word doesn't matter.

All that matters is that I enjoy it.

Now, I don't always work from coffee shops, but when I do I make sure to bring headphones with me. Because when I'm working, if I hear a blender in the background or someone talking on the phone, I become completely distracted.

My focus goes to zero.

But throwing in headphones gets me back on track. Suddenly, I can resume my work and make the progress that I need to.

Put those headphones in

When you're working, you need to be in control of your environment. If you're in a busy office setting or a loud restaurant, having the ability to block out noise so that you can focus on what's in front of you is a must.

So when you find outside factors distracting you:

  • Put your headphones in
  • Go to YouTube
  • Search for focus music (something like this is perfect)
  • And hone in on what you're working on

Even if music isn't your "thing," give this a try next time you're feeling distracted. It will help.

*Side note: Be sure to put on a long playlist with an uplifting rhythm and little-to-no words. Words will distract you, slow music may make you melancholy, and short playlists end leaving you to find something new to listen to.

Moving forward with less distraction

See each moment of friction as an opportunity for learning and growth. Do you get distracted by loud coworkers? Try putting your headphones in. Is your boss driving you crazy with her late-night "urgent" emails? Set boundaries.

Recognize the distractions that derail you and treat them as areas for improvement. Remove the friction and create a system that allows you to actually get your work done.

If I can manage to be productive at home with a teething baby, you have no excuse. You got this!

----

Corey Fradin is the Founder of QuickBooost - a blog that helps you do more with your time (productivity, goal setting, that kind of thing). His passion for goal setting has led to him helping countless individuals finally achieve their goals.


Image Credit: Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

The post 2 Ways To Limit Distraction And (Actually) Get Work Done appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>
https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/2-ways-to-limit-distraction-and-actually-get-work-done/feed/ 9
How to Get Enough Self-Care Into Your Day https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/how-to-get-enough-self-care-into-your-day/ https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/how-to-get-enough-self-care-into-your-day/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2020 02:46:14 +0000 https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/?p=80816

As busy as life gets sometimes, it is no surprise that a lot of people forget to take care of themselves. You may hear people talk about the importance of self-care, but who has the time? How much time should you spend on yourself? For a healthy body and mind, you may want to spend minimally an hour a day on yourself. If this sounds like a lot, don’t worry, the following guide can help you learn to devote time for yourself.

Learn About Self-Care

When you break down self-care, it sounds simple, doesn’t it? What makes self-care complicated is that a lot of people don’t know how to take care of themselves. They are used to putting their jobs, families and other priorities first and never have time for themselves.

Self-care prioritizes your physical and mental health. Self-care activities may include a skin-care routine, a healthy diet, journal writing or yoga. There is no limit to the kinds of activities that you can consider self-care.

Use Diet for Self-Care Help

At the end of a long workday, you may not have the energy to focus on yourself. To make matters worse, you may be too stressed to get enough sleep to face the day to come. This is the struggle that a lot of people have. Do you have the energy for yourself?

One of the main contributors to low energy is diet. It is easy to reach for the unhealthiest snacks possible when you are stressed. A little indulgence is okay, but you want to nourish your body with healthy foods that offer nutrients and energy. Some healthy options for more energy include:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Apples

While you are focused on healthy options, do not forget water. When you think about drinking for energy, don’t reach for the coffee or energy drinks first. Water also boosts your energy! If you are dehydrated, you will be fatigued.

If you want other options, you may want to try vitamins and supplements. Check all reviews ahead of time. For instance, if you are interested in Le-Vel Thrive, find a Le-Vel Thrive review.

Break Up Your Self-Care

It can be hard to set aside as little as one hour a day for self-care. You don’t have to squeeze in all of your “me time” at once. Try breaking it up into easier-to-handle chunks. Take that extra five minutes in the morning to pamper yourself with a skin-care routine or take a 15-minute walk in-between handling other business. Some people even choose to take phone calls while enjoying a mid-afternoon walk.

The little things that you do to take care of yourself count. Whether you break up your workouts through the day, eat a healthy snack or change into your pajamas as soon as you get home from work, these are little moments that can greatly improve your mood or mental health.

Set a Goal for Yourself

A lot of people feel unproductive when they focus on themselves. They may not recognize the importance of improved mood and physical health. If you are unhappy, that mood can be contagious. It can seep into your personal life, your professional life and lead to unproductivity. Prioritizing your mental and physical health is not lazy. If you struggle with making time for yourself, that’s okay.

If you are someone who rises to the challenge when a goal is set up in front of you, then set a goal for self-care. You can start small, if you want to, of course. The idea is that if you have a goal, then you are more likely to hold yourself accountable for it. For instance, if you want to focus on fitness, then put a fitness goal ahead of you.

An hour a day may not seem like much if you can break it up into smaller pieces. Remember that self-care should always be a priority in your life. To care for yourself can increase mood and physical health.

The post How to Get Enough Self-Care Into Your Day appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>

As busy as life gets sometimes, it is no surprise that a lot of people forget to take care of themselves. You may hear people talk about the importance of self-care, but who has the time? How much time should you spend on yourself? For a healthy body and mind, you may want to spend minimally an hour a day on yourself. If this sounds like a lot, don’t worry, the following guide can help you learn to devote time for yourself.

Learn About Self-Care

When you break down self-care, it sounds simple, doesn’t it? What makes self-care complicated is that a lot of people don’t know how to take care of themselves. They are used to putting their jobs, families and other priorities first and never have time for themselves.

Self-care prioritizes your physical and mental health. Self-care activities may include a skin-care routine, a healthy diet, journal writing or yoga. There is no limit to the kinds of activities that you can consider self-care.

Use Diet for Self-Care Help

At the end of a long workday, you may not have the energy to focus on yourself. To make matters worse, you may be too stressed to get enough sleep to face the day to come. This is the struggle that a lot of people have. Do you have the energy for yourself?

One of the main contributors to low energy is diet. It is easy to reach for the unhealthiest snacks possible when you are stressed. A little indulgence is okay, but you want to nourish your body with healthy foods that offer nutrients and energy. Some healthy options for more energy include:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Apples

While you are focused on healthy options, do not forget water. When you think about drinking for energy, don’t reach for the coffee or energy drinks first. Water also boosts your energy! If you are dehydrated, you will be fatigued.

If you want other options, you may want to try vitamins and supplements. Check all reviews ahead of time. For instance, if you are interested in Le-Vel Thrive, find a Le-Vel Thrive review.

Break Up Your Self-Care

It can be hard to set aside as little as one hour a day for self-care. You don’t have to squeeze in all of your “me time” at once. Try breaking it up into easier-to-handle chunks. Take that extra five minutes in the morning to pamper yourself with a skin-care routine or take a 15-minute walk in-between handling other business. Some people even choose to take phone calls while enjoying a mid-afternoon walk.

The little things that you do to take care of yourself count. Whether you break up your workouts through the day, eat a healthy snack or change into your pajamas as soon as you get home from work, these are little moments that can greatly improve your mood or mental health.

Set a Goal for Yourself

A lot of people feel unproductive when they focus on themselves. They may not recognize the importance of improved mood and physical health. If you are unhappy, that mood can be contagious. It can seep into your personal life, your professional life and lead to unproductivity. Prioritizing your mental and physical health is not lazy. If you struggle with making time for yourself, that’s okay.

If you are someone who rises to the challenge when a goal is set up in front of you, then set a goal for self-care. You can start small, if you want to, of course. The idea is that if you have a goal, then you are more likely to hold yourself accountable for it. For instance, if you want to focus on fitness, then put a fitness goal ahead of you.

An hour a day may not seem like much if you can break it up into smaller pieces. Remember that self-care should always be a priority in your life. To care for yourself can increase mood and physical health.

The post How to Get Enough Self-Care Into Your Day appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>
https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/how-to-get-enough-self-care-into-your-day/feed/ 3
7 Tips for Better Sleep in Children and Teens https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/7-tips-for-better-sleep-in-children-and-teens/ https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/7-tips-for-better-sleep-in-children-and-teens/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2020 22:14:00 +0000 https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/?p=73556

Children,
teens, and adults all need to get enough sleep in order to perform well and
maintain good health. Kids and young adults from the ages of puberty to 22
should sleep for approximately nine hours per day, according to the Child
Mind Institute
.
However, in a busy world full of academic pressure, after-school activities, time
with friends, and technology, quality sleep time often suffers.

Sleeplessness can promote anxiety and affect well-being. In fact, 70% of teens (ADAA) report experiencing anxiety before the age of 22. Not only does a lack of sleep affect a young person’s mental health, but it can also have an impact on their physical health as well. It’s so important to ensure that kids and teens are prioritizing sleep for a happy, healthy life.

The
following are seven tips that parents can use to help their kids enjoy restful
sleep consistently.

1.
Keep Them on a Schedule

It’s
no fun to have to nag your kids to go to bed on time, but maintaining a
consistent sleep schedule is crucial for preventing sleep problems and avoiding
chronic sleep deprivation.

For
kids and younger adolescents, it can be a bit easier to enforce a standard
bedtime. For teens, though, you may have to work a bit harder. Talk to your
teen about why sleep is so important. Preventing problems like depression,
anxiety, and poor academic performance are just a few reasons that might compel
a teenager to go to bed on time.

2.
Limit Your Kid’s Screen Time

For
most of us, our screens are causing at least a few problems when it comes to
getting enough sleep. Research shows that excessive screen time
reduces melatonin production
, which is a hormone that aids in sleep.

Detaching
adolescents from their phones is extremely difficult, but it’s important to
have your kids turn off their screens an hour before bed. Cutting off the blue light
from the screen will help them fall asleep faster and improve the quality of
their sleep. And yes, this should be a family rule that all the adults follow
too!

3.
Compel Them to Eat Healthy Foods

Keeping
to a schedule means more than setting a bedtime. It also means keeping meals on
a regular schedule so that late-night snacking doesn’t interfere with sleep. Junk
food that’s full of sugar and simple carbohydrates are the worst culprits.

One
of the best ways to reduce unhealthy snacking is to serve healthy meals on a
set schedule and to keep junk food out of the house. You might get some
complaints, but you’ll all sleep more soundly and feel better.

4.
Try Over-the-Counter Melatonin

Some
sleep aids create dependency, but melatonin is a natural choice that won’t pose
any risks to your children. Of course, you should consult a physician first,
but over-the-counter melatonin may help your kids enjoy more restful sleep,
especially during the teen years when their bodies seem to be on a totally
different sleep schedule than the rest of the world. 2-3 mg should be taken 1-2
hours before bed for the best results.

5.
Help Your Kids to Develop Good Sleep Habits While They're Young

Setting
expectations and boundaries around screen time, bedtime, and studying before
children enter adolescence is extremely helpful in creating good sleep habits.
Getting those habits established before the social and academic pressures of
junior high and high school come into play can really make a difference in
ensuring that your children are well-rested throughout their childhood and teen
years.

6.
Keep Them Active

We
all need regular exercise to stay healthy. Not only does physical activity
boost our mood and help us stay healthy, but it can also help us to wind down
and sleep better.

Kids
might prefer to stay inside and play on their devices, but it’s important to
keep them active. Sixty minutes a day is a good baseline.
Exercising too close to bedtime won’t help them fall asleep, but some
after-school activity (perhaps a family jog or yoga session?) can set the stage
for a good night’s sleep.

7.
Create a Restful Environment

Bright
lights and loud music aren’t the best options for bedtime. It’s important to
make your child’s bedroom restful and comfortable. Keep the temperature cool,
and give them a healthy snack before bed if they’re too hungry to sleep. Make
sure the room is dark enough and encourage a low-key activity like reading
before bedtime.

Take Charge and Be a
Good Role Model

You
may need to get creative in motivating your kids to get more sleep, but it’s
well worth the effort. The effects of chronic sleep deprivation are alarming
and can affect kids and teens in all areas of their life. It’s important to
take charge and provide the tools to help your kids get enough rest.

Finally,
you need to walk the walk yourself. Your kids will quickly notice if you’re
still pulling all-nighters or bringing your phone to bed. Be a good role model
and use the motivation to help your kids sleep as a way to get more rest
yourself. It’s a win-win for the whole family!

The post 7 Tips for Better Sleep in Children and Teens appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>

Children, teens, and adults all need to get enough sleep in order to perform well and maintain good health. Kids and young adults from the ages of puberty to 22 should sleep for approximately nine hours per day, according to the Child Mind Institute. However, in a busy world full of academic pressure, after-school activities, time with friends, and technology, quality sleep time often suffers.

Sleeplessness can promote anxiety and affect well-being. In fact, 70% of teens (ADAA) report experiencing anxiety before the age of 22. Not only does a lack of sleep affect a young person’s mental health, but it can also have an impact on their physical health as well. It’s so important to ensure that kids and teens are prioritizing sleep for a happy, healthy life.

The following are seven tips that parents can use to help their kids enjoy restful sleep consistently.

1. Keep Them on a Schedule

It’s no fun to have to nag your kids to go to bed on time, but maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is crucial for preventing sleep problems and avoiding chronic sleep deprivation.

For kids and younger adolescents, it can be a bit easier to enforce a standard bedtime. For teens, though, you may have to work a bit harder. Talk to your teen about why sleep is so important. Preventing problems like depression, anxiety, and poor academic performance are just a few reasons that might compel a teenager to go to bed on time.

2. Limit Your Kid’s Screen Time

For most of us, our screens are causing at least a few problems when it comes to getting enough sleep. Research shows that excessive screen time reduces melatonin production, which is a hormone that aids in sleep.

Detaching adolescents from their phones is extremely difficult, but it’s important to have your kids turn off their screens an hour before bed. Cutting off the blue light from the screen will help them fall asleep faster and improve the quality of their sleep. And yes, this should be a family rule that all the adults follow too!

3. Compel Them to Eat Healthy Foods

Keeping to a schedule means more than setting a bedtime. It also means keeping meals on a regular schedule so that late-night snacking doesn’t interfere with sleep. Junk food that’s full of sugar and simple carbohydrates are the worst culprits.

One of the best ways to reduce unhealthy snacking is to serve healthy meals on a set schedule and to keep junk food out of the house. You might get some complaints, but you’ll all sleep more soundly and feel better.

4. Try Over-the-Counter Melatonin

Some sleep aids create dependency, but melatonin is a natural choice that won’t pose any risks to your children. Of course, you should consult a physician first, but over-the-counter melatonin may help your kids enjoy more restful sleep, especially during the teen years when their bodies seem to be on a totally different sleep schedule than the rest of the world. 2-3 mg should be taken 1-2 hours before bed for the best results.

5. Help Your Kids to Develop Good Sleep Habits While They're Young

Setting expectations and boundaries around screen time, bedtime, and studying before children enter adolescence is extremely helpful in creating good sleep habits. Getting those habits established before the social and academic pressures of junior high and high school come into play can really make a difference in ensuring that your children are well-rested throughout their childhood and teen years.

6. Keep Them Active

We all need regular exercise to stay healthy. Not only does physical activity boost our mood and help us stay healthy, but it can also help us to wind down and sleep better.

Kids might prefer to stay inside and play on their devices, but it’s important to keep them active. Sixty minutes a day is a good baseline. Exercising too close to bedtime won’t help them fall asleep, but some after-school activity (perhaps a family jog or yoga session?) can set the stage for a good night’s sleep.

7. Create a Restful Environment

Bright lights and loud music aren’t the best options for bedtime. It’s important to make your child’s bedroom restful and comfortable. Keep the temperature cool, and give them a healthy snack before bed if they’re too hungry to sleep. Make sure the room is dark enough and encourage a low-key activity like reading before bedtime.

Take Charge and Be a Good Role Model

You may need to get creative in motivating your kids to get more sleep, but it’s well worth the effort. The effects of chronic sleep deprivation are alarming and can affect kids and teens in all areas of their life. It’s important to take charge and provide the tools to help your kids get enough rest.

Finally, you need to walk the walk yourself. Your kids will quickly notice if you’re still pulling all-nighters or bringing your phone to bed. Be a good role model and use the motivation to help your kids sleep as a way to get more rest yourself. It’s a win-win for the whole family!

The post 7 Tips for Better Sleep in Children and Teens appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

]]>
https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/7-tips-for-better-sleep-in-children-and-teens/feed/ 8