Learning to Enjoy the Process.

If you’re doing the laundry.
If you’re writing a report.
If you’re studying for an upcoming test.

Whatever the task is.

Find enjoyment in the process.

Find something or anything that you enjoy in your work.

And enjoy the process.

Getting homework done sounds like a chore but learning can be fun if you keep an open mind instead of thinking about what you can’t wait to do once the homework is done.

We have thoughts like:

“I can’t wait to finish my homework so I can go play some video games”.
“I can’t wait to get off work so I can catch up on my favourite sitcom”.
“I just want to get this chore done so I can get back to watching Youtube videos”.

A lot of times we don’t enjoy the process because we’re too fixated on the rewards of finishing it.

But why is enjoying the process important?

Besides the obvious point that you’ll enjoy the work, you’ll also be less likely to burn out especially if the task is long and tough.

Think about an activity that you really enjoy.

You don’t look forward to the end when you’re doing an activity that you enjoy.
We wish it could never end!

You don’t get tired of it either.

If you like to play video games, you don’t go, “I can’t wait to finish playing this video game so I can go to sleep”.

But we say things like, “I can’t wait to get homework done so I can watch Youtube videos and do other stuff”.

It’s all about learning to find enjoyment in the process instead of being fixated on finishing.

Be present.

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If You Feel Overwhelmed.

Take a break.

Play a game.
Exercise.
Do something you like.

Life’s too short to be constantly burnt out anyway.

You don’t have to be productive all the time.

Even machines and robots need some downtime.

It’s no different for us humans.

Think long-term.

If you’re constantly feeling burnt out, getting sick often and producing lower quality work even though you’re slogging it out, you’re defeating the purpose of working hard anyway.

But if you’re always scheduling the time to play and rest even during a busy day, you’re preventing yourself from burning out in the long run.

You’re likely to be more productive and your quality of work will be a lot better too.

Even if it’s just taking 5 minutes off your busy day to watch a funny video or play a game on your phone.

DO IT.

The moment you realise that you’re tired and burned out is already too late.

Better to prevent than to cure.

Because the downtime that you need to recover from a burned out state might take even longer than if you were to just schedule frequent short periods of rest throughout your workday.

Think smart.
Work smart.

Live in the Now.

The future can be quite scary to think about.

The uncertainty.
The doubts.
The what-ifs.

So don’t.

As important as the future is, the present moment matters more.

Hard to believe, but it’s true.

Focus too much on the future and you miss out on living the present moment to its fullest.

The same goes if you’re also too fixated on the past.

Think about it.

When you’re constantly worried about the future, you’re spending the present moment doing just that instead of being productive and enjoying life as it is.

What you do now is supposed to affect and determine your future anyway.

So the more you worry, the more you stress yourself out and don’t accomplish as much.

Then you end up worrying even more.

Kind of a catch-22 situation.

Living life is all about living in the now.

Don’t get me wrong, planning for the future is good.

But we need to remember that not everything will go according to plan anyway.

And that’s okay.

Because the present moment matters most.

Instead of fixating and worrying about the future, it makes a lot more sense to focus your efforts on doing the best you currently can.

When you’re getting work done, don’t think about how much work you have left.
Or worry about how your boss will think of your work.
Or wish that the work would end soon.

Just work.

And find some form of enjoyment in the process.

Getting too caught up worrying and thinking about the future and the outcomes only cause unnecessary anxiety and stress.

Which leads to reduced work quality too.

Live in the now.

Discipline.

If you had to choose just one skill to be extremely good at, it would have to be self-discipline.

Sure there are important hard skills like programming and writing.
Or valuable soft skills like interpersonal or communication skills.

But without discipline and willpower, we’d get nowhere.

This doesn’t mean that you have to do the hard things that you don’t feel like doing all the time.

When we hear discipline and willpower, we picture a person gritting their teeth while getting something done with a lot of effort and resistance.

That might be true to a certain extent.

But it shouldn’t be all about that.

Discipline/willpower is also about knowing how to make those hard tasks easier to perform so you don’t feel like procrastinating them.

Work smart but not hard, they say.

But when you learn to make difficult tasks easier to do, you don’t have to rely on discipline and willpower as much anyway.

As much as people say,
“Wow you’re a very disciplined person”

It’s all just a result of habit.

A habit of making harder tasks seem easier to complete so that you’re less likely to procrastinate.

And there are two main steps to go about doing this.

Let’s take the example of having to write a 3000-word report on global warming.

So what we can do is (it’s going to get a bit technical here):

  1. Break that huge report down into smaller parts (e.g. introduction, body, conclusion)
  2. Break the smaller parts into even smaller parts
    1. “Introduction” can be broken down into:
      1. What is global warming?
      2. What contributes to global warming?
      3. etc
    2. “Body” can be broken down into:
      1. The effects of global warming
      2. Why is it important to address global warming?
  3. Work on each sub-point in short bursts like 25 minutes so you don’t tire yourself out

Break everything down and make it easier to mentally process that big task.

You’re less likely to procrastinate that way.

You don’t have to rely on self-discipline as much.
You don’t have to rely on willpower as much.

Work smart.
Think small.

Why You Need To Write.

If you haven’t already established a habit of writing your thoughts and feelings out in some way, 

You’re missing out.

Writing might seem like a daunting task to some.

Because you’re probably thinking,
“What do I write about?”
“I’m not good at writing”
“I always get stuck whenever I have to write”

And that’s fine because I used to feel the same way too.

But you don’t have to go through all that for this type of writing.

You don’t even have to think.

You just do.

Just write whatever comes to mind.
Be it a happy thought.
Or a sad memory.
Or anxious thoughts about an upcoming presentation.

Write them all out.

Even if it sounds completely ridiculous.

Set the timer going for 2 minutes and just write.

This is called “free-writing”.

And the benefits are numerous.

Mental peace.
Mental clarity.
Stress relief.
Discovery of ideas.
Emotion regulation.
Being in a better mood.

All of that from the simple act of writing down your thoughts and feelings.

And the longer you free-write, the more benefits you’re likely to experience.

But start out small with just 2 minutes and see how it goes.

You have nothing to lose (aside from just those 2 minutes).

And you might just discover a new habit that you can’t live without.

Happy writing!

Live A Better Life By Asking Yourself This Question.

We don’t question ourselves nearly as much as we should.

If you were to ask yourself if you’ve lived life well, what would you say?

It’s also a question we should ask ourselves more too.

“Am I living my life well?”

This means different things to different people.

If you feel like you haven’t lived your life well, ask yourself why you feel that way.

If you feel like you have been living life well, ask yourself why you feel that way too.

A life well-lived might mean being successful at work and having wealth.
For someone else, it might mean settling down and starting a happy family.

What’s yours?
And how far are you from achieving it?

Anytime you feel unmotivated, tired and sick of life, just ask yourself if you’ve lived your life well.

Find direction and purpose.

You probably already know why you feel like you haven’t lived your life well.
Maybe you have unfulfilled goals like publishing your own book.
Maybe you have things you want to do like travel the world.

Whatever they are, find them and pursue them.

As long as they’re not materialistic goals that do more harm than good.

That will give your life meaning and purpose.

Sacrifice.

When you feel disappointed, upset or unhappy that things didn’t go your way, remember that not everything has to go your way.

And that’s ok.

The more we learn to be okay with things not going our way, the more we learn resilience.

We’re putting others before us.
When things don’t go our way, we’re being compassionate and kind to the wants and needs of others.

You become the bigger person.

Parents are perhaps the biggest example of this.

Just think of parents and their children.

Think of all the times parents had to sacrifice what they want to do so the kids can do what they want to do.

Parents generally don’t enjoy the activities that their children do.

Think about going to a playground.
Or a theme park.
Or an inflatable play centre.

These are all activities that children enjoy.

But parents are willing to sacrifice their time, money and effort for their children.

Just so that they can make their kids happy.

When you accept another person’s suggestion instead of yours, be it going to a restaurant that you don’t necessarily like or an activity you don’t feel like doing.

You’re showing a lot of thought and heart for the other person.

And that’s never a bad thing.

Unless you agreed to rob a bank.

But spare a thought for others and think about how happy you’re making someone feel by allowing things to go their way.

Especially if their idea or suggestion means a lot to them.

Thinking about it from this perspective will make you less likely to be upset.

Because making others happy makes us happy.
Just think about the last time you gave someone a gift.

It’s okay when things don’t go your way.

You’ll learn to be more compassionate, empathetic and more open to unexpected situations.