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6 unconventional ways to build focus, resilience, and calm in 2021

https://blog.rescuetime.com/unconventional-advice-for-2021/

blog.rescuetime.com

6 unconventional ways to build focus, resilience, and calm in 2021
The past year has been full of stress. Yet what we’ve learned is that when life becomes uncertain, the best thing to do is invest in yourself.

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Building Mental Resilience By Using Indifference

Building Mental Resilience By Using Indifference

There are two main mental biases which add stress to our lives:

  • Time Anxiety: The feeling that we are not utilizing our time in the best way or do not have enough of it.
  • Productivity Shame: The feeling that we are not doing enough, or that our work isn’t being recognized.

Though it seems radical, one can be indifferent and focus on one’s strengths, uncover one’s hidden passions and try to find meaning and purpose in life using self-reflective activities like mediation or journaling.

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Don’t Do Stuff That’s Stressing You Out

Working on high-priority tasks can be hard, but it is even harder to stop working on them. One needs a weekly or monthly review and reassessment to check what is important to us and deprioritize certain tasks which are no longer serving one’s best interests.

There are various mental biases like the sunk cost fallacy, the completion bias, or the Zeigarnik effect that our brains can experience, making it hard to deprioritize certain tasks.

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How To Deprioritize Tasks

  1. Set a limit on the time one has to work on a certain task, creating friction using intervals.
  2. Create a NOT TO DO list of the things you won’t do at all.
  3. Review your priorities on a weekly basis, asking yourself if the task is still important.
  4. Take out the impactful parts of the important tasks and do those first.
  5. Ask someone about how they feel about the prioritization of the tasks.

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Rebuilding Passion And Curiosity

  • Just like the birds come out after the storm goes away, one can start to rebuild and refocus on what makes one happy, nurturing one’s creativity.
  • Find something impactful and make it into an anchor task, a pillar by which the rest of the tasks are supported. Try to make it non-negotiable.
  • Helping others is a great way to increase one’s overall happiness and satisfaction levels.
  • Doing work that is directly helpful to others makes you feel positive and passionate.
  • Do what you feel like, even if you just want to watch a movie on a Monday afternoon.

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Match Your Internal Clock To Work

Many studies on productivity point out that we are only doing 2.5 to 3 hours of productive work on any given day. While most companies and managers expect the 8 to 9-hour productivity on a daily basis, we need to let go of this 9 to 5 office culture.

We need to build a new schedule that aligns with our body clocks and energy levels to best suit our work and has the work-life balance we always wanted.

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Chronotypes: Our Circadian Rhythms

We all have different Circadian Rhythms that make up our own chronotype, and are at our best if we work according to the same daily energy levels.

Our chronotype determines if we fall in one of the three types: A lark, an owl, or the third bird. Once we find that out, we can work our schedule to be the most productive, creative, motivated and focused.

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Discover Your Ideal Work Habits

Our habits power our daily actions, but we all cannot build the same habits and have to find out what works for us in a scientific manner.

One can use a productivity tracker or simply write a journal tracking the activities, using the following method:

  1. Question what you want to get done.
  2. Research more on the question.
  3. Pick one strategy and create a hypothesis.
  4. Start experimenting while tracking your progress.

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Minimum Digital Labour

As our digital tools can be used anywhere, there are no boundaries between work and the rest of our lives.

We need to set a limit to the amount of digital labour (email, Zoom calls, phone message responses) we keep doing all the time, and focus on people, projects, hobbies, and ways to find meaning and purpose.

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Being purposeful with your day

Being purposeful with your day

Time management is about taking control of the time you do have available and using it optimally for productivity while creating balance.

How to plan your day

Much advice about time management is about creating a to-do list, reminding you what you want to do. However, it's more important to use a schedule, which tells you when you're going to do it.

  • Create "bookends" for each day. Consider your morning and evening routines, then "block" in time for your most important tasks. For example, a 2-hour writing-block every morning after breakfast.
  • Set aside time for your most important projects. The object is to be purposeful about what and when you're going to do something.
  • Schedule in breaks. A schedule has to be realistic. That means including time for breaks, food, exercise, social time, and other "non-school" tasks that keep you happy.

Be aware of how you’re spending your time

To build a better time management system, you need to know what you currently spend your time on. You need to know where you're losing time to the wrong things.

To track your time, spend a few days writing a "time log" to track how you spend your day.

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Making A Crisis Out Of Everything

Making A Crisis Out Of Everything

Our diminishing resilience and decreasing psychological threshold of handling pain and struggle is, in turn, making everything look like a crisis.

We are making a catastrophe out of eve...

Psychological Resilience

Psychological resilience is not about fake positivity and takes its power from our negative feelings. It makes our anger, sadness, failure and self-loathing into something useful and productive.

When we become sufficiently resilient, we are unstoppable and limitless.

Care For Someone Else

Our focus on the self has made us fearful and overwhelmed, especially in times of crisis. Part of our anxiety is the constant focus on oneself. Even if we do focus on others, it is only to judge them about how they feel about us, and what they think about us.

If instead of our inner selfishness, we find a greater cause to endure the crisis or risk, some deeper purpose or mission that eclipses our ego, then the crisis is taken care of.

About uncertainty

About uncertainty

Most of us are quite addicted to a degree of certainty of all kinds, as this is what makes us feel safe. And now we all know nothing compares to feelings such as safety and control.

When f...

Stepping in the unknown

While it can be quite scary, stepping out in the unknown is necessary every now and then.

In order to push your limits, you should consider taking up new challenges that will not only make you experience fear, but most probably also later success into dealing with new and stressful situations. Furthermore, your brain will get trained to form new connections, which can only prove beneficial in the long run.

Train your mind to defeat uncertainty

Recent research has shown that uncertainty scares people even more than knowing that things are going to actually end up badly.

Therefore, in order to be mentally prepared to beat uncertainty, what better way than just imagining the worst case scenario? If it turns out badly, you will at least not be taken by surprise and, if it turns out well, you will be happy.