I, simply better

February is a good time to take a first résumé and ask yourself what it is that you have actually have achieved, what needs to change in order to reach our goals. Everyone has exactly 24 hours a day. It all comes down to how we utilise them. Conversions don't happen overnight and it can sometimes take a while to get used to new things.

Work more effectively

Does the following scenario sound familiar? In the office you receive one task after another. Ultimately, you work on 10 different to-do's at the same time, without really finishing one of them. This is a waste of time. It is better to focus on ONE task and finish it, before starting on the next. Perhaps it requires increased concentration and seems more strenuous, but at the end of the day it is worth it. Prioritise the tasks by creating a list to evaluate them according to importance and time expenditure.
You can work very effectively using the 25/5 method: 25 minutes of concentrated work without any interference followed by a 5 minute break. Bigger tasks are less daunting if they are split into smaller work phases. Ideally, the technique would look like this:

  1. The written formulation of the task
  2. Setting a timer to 25 minutes
  3. Concentrate on a task for 25 minutes
  4. Put in a 5 Minutes break once the timer rings
  5. After four sessions extend the break to 15-20 minutes

You will see that 25 minutes is short enough so it won't seem too long. But long enough to get things done.

Say No

A short word and yet so effective. Saying no is not easy for many people, but saying no sometimes is liberating and makes us feel stronger. Everybody can relate to the following situation: At work your tasks start piling up, when you friend comes along and asks for your time or your colleague asks you to do his job. Stop! Many find it hard to express the word "no" in situations like these and instead find themselves either giving in or coming up with polite phrases to decline. But why is it so difficult to say no for so many people? It just doesn't fit to our self-image. Most of us have the desire to be helpful, positive and attentive towards others. By saying no, we are afraid to disappoint, a simple "no" is a sign of rejection - in short: a "no" could make you unpopular. Constantly saying "yes" to everything, however, can quickly be exploited and puts you under pressure - disappointments are the result.

However, a does not have to have a negative effect on the relationship with other people. An honest "no" is a clear message. Here are a few tips for correct naysaying (good conscience included)

  1. Read this sentence several times: Your own time is valuable.
  2. You don't have to please everyone. For one thing, it is not possible and secondly the attempt would unbelievably strenuous.
  3. You don’t have to justify your "no". Only to the people you really care about.
  4. The more often you practice saying no on different occasions, the easier it will be

Don’t be a naysayer as a matter of principle, a "no"should merely be an option or a useful tool in the future. You will quickly see how liberating a "no" can be and how much more time you will have for yourself and your priorities.

Get rid of ballast

We all collect a lot of stuff over time - unnecessary ballast. We carry it around with us, day in and day out, whether we like it or not, whether it helps us or not. Stressed out and distracted by useless items that take your focus from the essential things, is a feeling that might feel familiar. Material ballast can also affect the psyche. These can be things in your home that you have long wanted to give away: clothes, old books or furniture.
Let us make it clear in a numbers: In average, we all own 10,000 things. How many of these items do you really need? The American Dave Bruno became famous for his radical approach when he said that he wanted to own only 100 things. In his book "The 100 Thing Challenge" he documented his one-year period of decluttering of the unnecessary 9,900 belongings. The result: An absolute feeling of liberation, much more time, strength and money. Sounds good, doesn't it?
This admittedly very drastic measure serves only as an example, for all the superfluous things we hoard. Surely you will also come up with things you don't really need. Get used to getting rid of these piece by piece. Regularly come up with certain amount of ballast that you want to dispose of. For example, 2 kg in one week. What sounds like a lot at first, is very quickly achieved. We’re sure you'll experience a feeling of liberation similar to that of Dave Bruno.

Live consciously

Digital detox. Electronic devices make us forget the world around us. Does technology have you in control or do you have control over technology? Isn't it a pity life just passes you by like that? Monitor yourself for two or three days. Be honest, how much time do you spend on your mobile phone every day? Now add that up to the whole year. It will probably make you feel dizzy. It's high time to make a difference. Those moments at the cash desk, at the bus stop or in the waiting room, when you usually pick up your mobile phone and browse through the social media or chats – are they it really necessary? We spend almost 8.5 hours a day on our electronic gadgets, 3-4 of which are on mobile devices. Terrifying, if you think about it. What could one have accomplished in this time? What did you do without a cell phone back in the days? Limit yourself on how much time you want to spend on your mobile phone, for example, and start slowly. For instance, by putting away your mobile phone for the time being for one night a week. Just skip watching TV tonight and meet up with friends or spend time with your family. Beautiful memories with other people is what makes our life worth living.

Last but not least. It takes 66 days to get used to a certain pattern of behaviour and 66 days to get rid of them. Take your time, try to work on yourself bit by bit and you will gradually see improvements on your journey to become a better version of yourself.