Posts Tagged ‘Time’

Pace Yourself, Especially on Bad Days

Friday, September 12th, 2008
This is #12 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Pace Yourself, Especially on Bad Days. Go slow. Don’t be in a hurry. Just take one thing at a time and keep moving forward. If you’re having a really low day, you might even want to take care of yourself by playing hooky !

I must respectfully disagree with this advice.  Sometimes you SHOULD be in a hurry – but being in a hurry with your actions or thoughts does not necessarily require you to be in a hurry with your emotions.  You can cultivate a sense of calm and joy within yourself even when you’re pressed for time, if you make a conscious, repeated attempt to do so.

-MJ

Transitions.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
This is #9 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Transitions. Make sure you plan in enough time between activities and appointments, and find ways to fail proof being on time.

I always underestimate how much time I need to finish something, so I’m often rushing from place to place with no time to spare.  This lifestyle is strenuous, and it is not very happy OR productive.   I’m slowly learning to make more realistic assessments of how much time I have and how much time I need to achieve a goal.

I think the instruction to “make sure you plan in enough time between activities and appointments, and find ways to fail proof being on time” could be extended to include your emotions and relationships.  For example, a speedy transition from singleness to marriage would probably lead to problems down the road, if you and your partner haven’t taken time to develop a full understanding of one another.

Similarly, hurrying through the transitory stages of grief or failing to take enough time to adjust to moving to a new city might create more emotional or organizational disruptions for you than would have been created otherwise, if you took your time and eased through these processes.

-MJ

Turn off Your Computer

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
This is #3 out of 25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work.

Turn off Your Computer. “What?!” you say. “Everything is done on my computer!” Well is it really? What percentage truly is? Plan to have your computer on only for that amount of time each day. Plan out blocks of time for different computer tasks and work from a checklist to keep you focused. Giving your eyes a rest from the screen will give you more energy for creating. Even if you just close your eyes as you think of a response to an email can help too.

A friend of mine once lived through two months without an internet connection at her apartment.  That sounds like torture, right?  Actually, she told me that after initial withdrawal pains, she thoroughly enjoyed the absence of the potentially distracting web.  She told me that without the ability to spend hours aimlessly following links around the internet and double-checking her email, she was far more productive and had so much more free time.

To limit the amount of time I spend on the computer, I sometimes deliberately unplug my laptop, so that I will have to complete all my work within the time that I still have battery power. Doing this can make you feel like you have a deadline, which can help you stay focused and avoid aimless web exploration.

In the past, such exploration has kept me awake hours beyond my bedtime.  Since I’ve instituted my battery-power time-limiting system, I’ve completed more work in shorter periods of time, and have added a few hours of sleep to most of my nights. This has definitely made me happier.

-MJ

Socializing boosts health, happiness

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

As students’ summer classes and work schedules fill their days to the brim, many may feel that the time crunch requires them to neglect their social life.

But not spending enough time with family and friends can compromise human health, UCLA researchers have found.

“(Social contact with others) has effects on the body that are more powerful than cigarette smoking and your cholesterol level,” said Shelley Taylor, a distinguished professor of psychology. “The magnitude is very strong.”

Click here for the full article.

Do you hear that, all you fellow college students who take too many hours of classes and participate in too many extracurriculars and run around being busy busy busy OMG SO BUSY?

You (and I) need a break.

Grab some friends, sit down (prefereably outside in the bright Indian summer sunshine) and relax.  Talk.  Play around, even.

You’ll be glad you did – much more glad, in the long run, than you would be if you stayed in and studied.  I assure you, with few exceptions, your grades are not that important, in the grand scheme of things.

Happiness is … not having children?

Monday, May 12th, 2008

The belief that children and money will bring people happiness is one of life’s abiding illusions, a Sydney conference attended by 2000 seekers of happiness was told yesterday.

The scientific evidence shows people are very bad at predicting what will make them happy, said Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University and the author of the book Stumbling On Happiness. He said people’s happiness goes into steep decline after they have children, and never recovers its old level until the children leave home. As a source of pleasure, playing with one’s offspring rates just above doing housework but below talking with friends, eating, or watching TV, research has shown.

Yet people invest so much time and money in their children, and focus on the fleeting moments of joy they bring, rather than on the long periods of boredom and irritation, that most continue to believe children will bring them happiness, Professor Gilbert said.

Click here for the full article.

Nine tips to make TV-watching a source of happiness.

Friday, April 25th, 2008

In terms of hours, watching TV is probably the world’s most popular pastime. Among Americans, it’s the most common free-time activity – for an average of about five hours a day. It’s a source of relaxing fun.

But while television is a good servant, it’s a bad master. It can swallow up huge quantities of people’s lives, without much happiness bang for the buck.

Here are nine tips for keeping TV-watching a source of happiness:

1. Watch TV with someone else. We enjoy all activities more when we’re with other people, and we tend to find things funnier when we’re with other people. Use TV as an excuse to get together. Sports TV, awards TV (the Oscars), and competition TV (American Idol, Survivor), in particular, are a lot more fun to watch with other people. In fact, you can even…

Click here for the full article.

What’s The Rush? Taking Time To Acknowledge Loss Is Not That Bad

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

There are two guarantees in every person’s life: happiness and sadness. Although lost opportunities and mistaken expectations are often unpleasant to think and talk about, these experiences may impact personality development and overall happiness. A seven-year study conducted by Laura King, a researcher at the University of Missouri, indicates that individuals who take time to stop and think about their losses are more likely to mature and achieve a potentially more durable sense of happiness.

“People are generally in a hurry to be happy again, but they need to understand that it’s okay to feel bad and to feel bad for a while,” said King, who teaches psychology in the College of Arts and Science. “It’s natural to want to feel happy right after a loss or regrettable experience, but those who can examine ‘what might have been’ and be mindfully present to their negative feelings, are more likely to mature through that loss and might also obtain a different kind of happiness.”

 Drawing on samples of adults who have experienced significant life changing events, including parents of children with Down syndrome, women who have experienced divorce after marriages of more than 20 years, and gay men and lesbians, King examined the participants’ written accounts of their current best possible selves and unattainable best possible selves that they may have once cherished. Answering questions like, “How great would your life have been if only…,” King found that those who could acknowledge a past characterized by loss were more likely to show personality development over time.

Click here for the full article.