Here’s How You Can Increase Your Productivity

It’s easy to get distracted. A notification alert from your mobile phone is enough to throw you off course. We end up procrastinating and we never get our tasks done. So, how do we increase our productivity? This article will show you exactly how to. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

#1: Clear Your Surroundings

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By getting rid of potential causes of distraction, you are better able to focus on your task at hand. Can’t stand that mobile phone? Put it in a separate room. Can’t stop fiddling with markers? Chuck them away. It’s that simple. Still find that you can’t focus at home? Find an environment that suits you. It could be the local Starbucks, a public sitting area or even the park.

#2: Download Apps That Lock Your Phone Temporarily

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For this, I recommend Forest. Forest is an excellent productivity that locks your phone for a selected time. While your device is locked, the app will “grow” a virtual tree, which will be added to your garden. However, using your phone before the timer ends kills the tree. This app provides you with additional incentive to complete your tasks and stay off your phone. At first, this might seem hard to accomplish. However, seeing your trees in your garden will provide you with an unrivalled sense of satisfaction and achievement.

#3: Listen To Music

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You might have thought that steps #1 and #2 were enough. However, the silence of your surroundings can be incredibly unbearable. Music helps to fill this void and quietens your mind, thereby providing you with concentration. Of course, the choice of your music matters too. Take care not to choose music that would distract you. For example, listening to rock music makes some people tap to its rhythm. I personally recommend listening to classical or orchestral music.

#4: Avoid Multitasking

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Believe it or not, when you multitask, you actually aren’t multitasking. Mind blown? What you really are doing is switch-tasking. By nature, the mind is unable to focus on two or more items at once. So, by “multitasking”, you are shifting your attention constantly from one item to another. Naturally, the quality of your work diminishes. The solution to this problem is completing your tasks in a straight line. In fact, this is a tactic used by Samurai warriors when they are outnumbered. They will position themselves in such a way that their opponents would move in a straight line towards them. This allows the Samurai to focus on one opponent at a time. This concept can also be applied to our daily lives. Instead of overwhelming ourselves, let us focus on one task at once.

Conclusion

So that wraps up 4 ways you can increase your productivity. We all know staying focused isn’t easy sometimes and that our distractions can get the better of us. I hope that this article was helpful to you and if it was so, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post!

Here’s Why You Should Listen To Music

Listening to music is something many of us do to counteract boredom and for good reason. Many of us subscribe to Spotify and Deezer, while others listen to the radio. Indeed, music is an integral part of our lives. Many of us wouldn’t be able to live without it. But did you know that it has many benefits? This article will show you why you should listen to music. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

#1: Music Brings Us To Other Worlds

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You could be listening to Vivaldi, Beethoven or Taylor Swift. Music offers us a break from our hectic lifestyles and brings us to other worlds. As you listen to Vivaldi’s pieces, you might imagine and contemplate the beauty of the four seasons. Meanwhile, Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries gives you the feeling of adventure and excitement. You could feel like Rambo eating that sandwich or Indiana Jones driving to work. I am unable to account for all genres of music, but you get what I mean.

#2: Music Boosts Memory

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The brain is a muscle. Use it and it grows; leave it and it atrophies. Music stimulates many parts of the mind. Like reading, listening to music ensures that our minds are in top shape and running well. Improved memory also comes with reduced stress and anxiety, which we will touch in point #3.

#3: It Relieves Stress and Anxiety

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Music shifts our attention away from our surroundings. Our feelings of stress and anxiety fades away as we listen to the music we love. For example, some intense orchestral tracks might make you feel like you’re saving the world. On the other hand, tracks with a slow tempo might help you to relax.

#4: Provides Concentration

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I think we can all agree that silence can be very grating and unbearable at times. We start to become distracted by just about everything in our surroundings. This is especially true when we feel unmotivated to complete our tasks or assignments. Slipping on a pair of headphones, however, solves this problem. The music you are listening to shuts out the world around you and focusing becomes much easier. Now Math homework feels like Mission Impossible. (Not because the Math is impossible, mind you, but rather because of the intensity of the movies)

Conclusion

Listening to music is part of being human. Our ancestors understood the value and significance of music as a form of communication, a form of enjoyment and a form of entertainment. What’s stopping us from doing the same? If this article was a good read, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post!

The Importance of Habits

There are many things we do everyday without a second thought. Our bodies automatically react and act accordingly to the cues of our surroundings. These are called habits. Some habits are great, while some others are destructive. The habits we possess defines who we are and who we will become, as actions speak louder than words. However, we must realise that our habits are the driving force behind our actions. In fact, the importance of habits is often ignored and overlooked by many. This article will discuss the importance of habits and how they influence our lives, even in seemingly small ways. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s hop right in.

#1: Habits Define Who We Are

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Habits determine our identity and the way we see ourselves. For example, if you play badminton regularly, you might see yourself as an athlete. Likewise, if you write regularly, you might see yourself as a writer. Your perceived identity influences most of the actions you take in your life, your values and guiding principles.

#2: Habits Can Lead Us To Success or Failure

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Good habits inch you closer to success while bad habits nudge you closer to failure. The actions we take everyday due to our habits, while seemingly insignificant, influence how we manage our finances, set our goals and work towards them. Good habits like reading, for example, provides us knowledge related to our fields. The habit of planning a timetable also helps us to use our time wisely and productively. However, bad habits like smoking wastes your hard-earned money and damages your health. It could also be as simple as being addicted to that latest mobile game or playing tons of ranked Mobile Legends everyday. These habits above waste time and decrease productivity, thereby leading you away from success.

#3: Habits Help You To Be Productive Even When You Feel Unmotivated

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There are days we find hard to be productive. You might have worked a long shift the previous day and missed out on sleep. The good news is that habits require little willpower to work. The University College London defines habits as “behaviours which are performed automatically because they have been performed frequently in the past. This repetition creates a mental association between the situation (cue) and action (behaviour) which means that when the cue is encountered the behaviour is performed automatically. Automaticity has a number of components, one of which is lack of thought.” Your body naturally acts the way it has multiple times before, with minimal to no effort. However, there is a limit. If you haven’t been sleeping for the past few days, even your habits can’t save you as the human body can only go so far.

#4: Habits Provide You With Calmness

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As stated under point #4, habits help to simplify our lives. We no longer have to use our precious willpower to get something done. As a result, we are provided with calmness of mind as our stress to get things done is removed. We start to lead happier lives as our minds are able to focus on the more important things of life. Indeed, a detached mind naturally possesses clarity and makes wiser choices.

Conclusion

Habits play an important part in our lives. We must learn to master the power of habits and use them to our advantage. If you are interested in learning how to build habits effectively, do visit my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/11/30/how-to-build-a-habit-effectively/. On the other hand, if you would like to learn how you can destroy a habit, visit my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/05/how-to-get-rid-of-a-bad-habit/. If this article was in any way helpful you, do consider giving it a like! Thank you for reading!

Here’s How You Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

As we become more reliant on technology, our carbon footprint increases as well. Owing to our busy lifestyles, we may be required to travel frequently on planes or cars. Our mobile phones and laptops require more frequent charges. Our homes have also become “smart”, with gadgets like the Google Home Mini consuming huge amounts of electricity. However, do you know that this enhances global warming? More carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are released into the air as our power consumption increases. Nonetheless, you can help to save the environment by lowering your carbon footprint, which is in other words the total greenhouse gas emmisions caused by a single person. In this article, I will show you a few ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Let’s begin!

#1: Take Public Transport

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Instead of driving your own car, you could consider taking public transport. A single bus may be able to transport 50 or more people at one time, while a train may be able to transport hundreds at once. A single bus emits less greenhouse gases than 50 cars at one time.

#2: Conserve Electricity

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Decreasing your electric consumption not only saves you money but also helps to decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emitted. For a start, you could turn off your fan or your air-conditioner when you don’t need it, while you can also avoid overcharging your gadgets. While it doesn’t seem like much, this helps to save our environment and reduce the usage of fossil fuels, which are unsustainable and will run out in the near future.

#3: Don’t Buy Things You Don’t Need

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Some of us get lost in a shopping spree and end up purchasing numerous items, such as that latest Gucci handbag or the latest iPhone. However, this only serves to increase your carbon footprint as much energy is used in the production of goods and items. Furthermore, buying things you clearly don’t need wastes your hard-earned cash.

#4: Buy Recycled Products

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Whenever you go shopping, look out for products manufactured from recycled materials. This is because less energy is used to produce items made up of recylced products and this in turn reduces the volume of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere. This also reduces the energy used in extracting new resources as recycling utilises used materials.

#5: Conserve Water

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This is something I believe everyone must do. It’s as simple as closing the tap when you are brushing your teeth. Energy is used in filtering, pumping and heating water. Wasting water not only increases your electric bills but also causes water shortage around the world. Many people in the Less Developed Countries are experiencing water shortage due to contamination or worsening climates. It’s important to cherish water and not just treat it as a luxury.

Conclusion

All of us can play a part in reducing our carbon footprints so as to reduce the effects of global warming. We have harmed Mother Earth and it’s time to give back. Let’s not become the architects of our own destruction. If this article was a good read or helpful to you in any way, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading!

Why You Should Own a Pet

During this time of the year, with COVID-19 ravaging the world and forcing us to stay at home, having a pet can have untold benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing. For those introverts out there, having a pet will provide you with a great friend. Also, for those stuck and bored at home, owning and taking care of a pet will be a great experience. In this article, we will discuss why you should own a pet and whether or not they are worth your time. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Let’s jump right in!

#1: You’ll Never Feel Lonely Anymore

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To own a pet is to have another friend. If you are feeling lonely and are in need of some company, a pet is the way to go. They help to provide companionship and improves your mood. In fact, owning a pet has been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve mood.

#2: They Bring People Together

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Believe it or not, pets are great catalysts for conversations. You will be able to form meaningful friendships with other pet lovers, too. In fact, research has shown that those who walked their dogs, were more likely to befriend someone they met through a pet-related connection.

#3: They Help You Keep An Active Lifestyle

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Having a pet helps to increase your levels of physical activity. Those who own dogs, for example, might find themselves walking with their dogs more often. If walking with your dog sounds boring, you could take it for a swim or even rollerblade together with it. In the long run, this will bring you numerous health benefits, including improved blood pressure, reduced risk of coronary artery disease and obesity.

#4: It Teaches Your Child How To Handle Responsibility

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Taking care of a pet isn’t easy at all. Depending upon the type of pet you own, you will have to attend to its numerous needs, including regular baths, feeding and grooming. Letting your child take care of his/her pet will teach him/her the importance of responsibility, a highly essential life skill.

#5: They Provide Unconditional Love

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Compared to humans, pets will not love you any differently every day. They won’t love you less just because you didn’t give it its favourite food or are unable to accompany it 24/7. They will always be unwaveringly loyal to you, even if you cannot reciprocate it.

#6: They Provide A Sense of Safety

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This builds upon point #1. Silence and loneliness can be quite unbearable for most people who live alone. A pet helps to fill that void, so you’ll always sleep at night knowing your little friend has your back. This is especially true for people who own guard dogs which provide you with protection even when you’re out for a run or walk.

#7: They Help to Reduce Stress

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There are days where we feel overwhelmed and pressured. Owning a pet will help to lighten your mood as you have fun interacting with it. They help to provide comfort and reduce anxiety. This helps to reduce the risks of depression and PTSD. If you would like to learn more about how stress can harm you, do read my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/11/is-stress-good-for-you/.

Conclusion

Sometimes, because of our hectic and busy lifestyles, our loved ones are unable to spend time together with us. During these times, we might feel abandoned and uncared for. A pet will help to ease these feelings and provide you with joy and fulfillment. I hope this article was helpful to you and until then, stay tuned for my next post!

Is Stress Good For You?

Stress is something we all face very frequently. It could be because of our deadlines closing in, relationship problems or more. Sometimes, we even start to panic and act recklessly. But could stress have any benefits for us, or is it 100% harmful to our mental and physical wellbeing? In this article, I will discuss how stress can be harmful, yet beneficial if used correctly and appropriately. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Without any further ado, let’s hop right in!

How Stress Can Be Harmful

#1: It Causes Anxiety

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When you are pressured, you naturally start to worry. Negative thoughts start to invade your mind and you start to imagine all the worst case scenarios possible. You start to have difficulty sleeping, cold sweat and become unable to concentrate. Even when there is no danger, you start to see it everywhere. Your body becomes overly alert and wary. If left untreated or unresolved, this could potentially harm your physical and mental wellbeing.

#2: Difficulty Controlling Your Emotions

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Irritability is a common symptom of stress, too. We naturally become defensive as stress triggers the fight-or-flight response in our bodies. This builds upon symptom #1, where anxiety can lead to your body perceiving normally harmless events as threats. When this happens, you naturally lose self-control and may even throw tantrums. Many people end up acting recklessly if they are unable to control their emotions or thoughts.

#3: Bad Habits Start to Resurface

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Your levels of willpower decrease as the feelings of stress kick in, and self-control is lost as well. When this happens, old habits start to pop up again. For example, some people start stress-eating while others start chain smoking in a bid to reduce their feelings of stress. Suddenly, you can’t stop what you are doing as it is too addictive and you relapse on the bad habits you had once kicked.

#4: Lowered Immune System

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Stress reduces the body’s ability to fight off antigens and you become more vulnerable to becoming infected by numerous diseases. Your body’s ability to recover is also impeded due to inadequate sleep, which is caused by excessive worrying. Feelings of anxiety also causes your heart rate and breathing rate to increases, thereby causing feelings of tiredness.

However, if controlled and contained, healthy amounts of stress can be helpful too.

How Stress Can Be Beneficial

#1: It Provides Motivation

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A healthy amount of stress helps to fight off feelings of laziness and procrastination. It creates a sense of urgency that urges you to act. This helps in completing tasks and avoids the last-minute rush. “But how?” you might ask. For a student, the heaps of content tested in an exam and the fear of failure is enough to spur him/her to revise early. However, as you have read above, do not stress yourself excessively.

#2: It Makes You Battle-Hardened

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A healthy amount of stress can help us to be resilient. While it can feel overwhelming, it can train us to be calm and detached in times of crisis. As as result, we are not easily beaten down and are able to make sound decisions even when times are desperate. The feelings of fear and anxiety are now insignificant as you have been trained for it.

Conclusion

Stress is part of a meaningful life. Without it, we would not have the motivation to do anything. However, too much of it can destroy and shut us down. In other words, stress is a double-edged sword. The key to it all is moderation; not too much and not too little. A good amount of stress can help us to achieve our goals in life and push us on. If this article was in any way helpful to you, do consider liking this post. Thanks for reading!