Showing posts with label Work-Life Balance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Work-Life Balance. Show all posts
By Chistopher O. | Strong Female Leaders | Reading Time: Five Minutes

Mindfulness is a person's ability to be fully present to what is happening. Mindlessness, then, happens when our minds wander off. soon, we lose touch with everything around us, and start worrying about the future, sulking in the past, and grow negative in attitude. Being mindful can help us become better at our relationships, careers and life. If you are looking for ways to become more mindful, the books below are great ways to start. Not only do they help you become more mindful, they are enjoyable reads as well.

Top 5 Servant Leadership Books by Women
1) Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty
Social media expert and the host of the no. 1 podcast on purpose, Jay Shetty, shares the timeless wisdom that he learned from living as a monk and provides practical steps that help us live more mindfully and meaningfully. In the book, you will learn how to overcome anxieties, avoid becoming too critical, conquor fear, learn more, and find the purpose of living. With the hope to inspire and empower others, Shetty wrote and published THINK LIKE A MONK in order to inspire and empower others too improve people's lives and relationship with others.
If you feel stressed, pressured and constantly unhappy, then this books can be a way to initiate a better and healthier lifestyle.
2) The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive
In this science-based workbook, you will find a step-by-step method for creating a life of self care and self love. Often, we are kinder to others than to ourselves, and such practice and mindset will only destroy our own self esteem. By motivating and teaching ourselves to cultivate our own well-being, we can become better, stronger and more empowered. Self-compassion isn't selfish. Instead, it allows you to grow into a stronger person who can then lift others up.
3) The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams
In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu met up with Dalai Lama to celebrate to not only celebrate Dalai Lama's eightieth birthday but also to write a book that they would present as a gift to others. They turned their own life experiences into the answer to a burning question that many of us have: how to find joy in life? From intimate personal stories to spiritual guidances to ways to find joy during despair, this books offers a way to find "true joy" when confronted with life's inevitable tragedies. Not only is this book a rare opportunity for two unique and amazing minds to collaborate, it teaches lessons that we can pass on to the next generation. Most importantly, it helps us navigate through a world of angst, hurt and dissapointments and find meaning and happiness.

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By Nan Nan Liu-Maffetone | Strong Female Leaders | Reading Time: Five Minutes
Setbacks are a part of life, and they happen to everyone. Instead of focusing on the hurt and dissapointment you feel, focus on how to move past the mistakes, and come out better and stronger. In today's article, you will find practical methods for how to turn setbacks into comebacks. You will also gain a healthy dose of empowerment.

When you follow a lifelong dream and finally make it come true, what happens when things do not turn out as planned?
We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. When new jobs, career paths or relationships get off track, we have to face the losses. Sure, these situations can make us feel like failures at first, but when emotions reside, we begin to solve issues, set new goals, and make progress again. Strong female leaders do not succumb to difficulties. They rethink their strategies and turn setbacks into combacks instead. The methods below can help you do the same:
1. Play it safe? That's not you.
The loftier your goals are, the bigger the gamble you take and the more mistakes you could make. So you might as well commit to having a mindset of failing forward. Once your mind is made up, you operate with a clearer head and are able to focus on the bigger goals and the ultimate vision.
2. Give yourself a time limit to feel bad.
Everyone needs space to deal with disapointment and hurt. When you deny yourself the time to grieve and reflect, you deny yourself the ability to shed emotional baggage. This in turn makes moving forward harder to do.
If you are afraid of getting stuck in an emotional rut, then put a time limit on the grieving. Commit to a day, a week, or even a year if needed. After the allowance has been exhaused, move on by taking the lessons learned and focuing on the facts (what went well, what went wrong, and so on). And make sure you leave all of the emotions behind.
3. Focus on the next win.
Winners move forward, one small step at a time. When you are just picking yourself back up, you might not want to take giant leaps rightaway or think too far ahead. Sure, the big picture still looms in the background. Right now, however, focus on how to get back on the saddle and get moving. Set small, achievable goals, and focus on reaching them one at a time. When you have gained enough confidence, then consider taking a bigger leap.
4. Don't sugarcoat, just learn.
Confidence cannot be faked. When you've failed and hurt your pride, you might really want to self-aggrandice just to feel better. However, facing the situation stoicly may be a better approach.
To regain confidence and avoid self-soothe, one action you can take is to draw out the lessons learned from the experience and attach a value to each one. For example: if you lost a 5-figure account because you were overly ambitious, what would happen if next time, you progressed more steadily and kept the account for the long term? How much more profit will you gain? And there you go! A 5-figure loss just turned into a 5-figure education.
Gaining concrete value from failed pursuits adds a huge boost to confidence. But if you sugarcoat it, you may not reclaim enough inner strength to move on properly.
5. Control your self-talk.
The self-doubt you experience from setbacks can pollute your life, if you let it. During the tender recovery period, it is crucial that you manage how you speak to the person in the mirror. Stay focused on your strengths, values, and goals. Keep your mind focused, sharp and positive. In time, all wounds heal, if you treat them conscientiously.
Parting Thoughts
Setbacks happen to everyone. In fact, the more successful you want to be, the more setbacks you will experience. While we all understand how resilience and adaptability help overcome setbacks, it’s still handy to have clear steps to follow. The approaches above can transform the self-doubt associated with failure into fresh hopes and dreams. So don't let setbacks hold you back. Instead, turn them into comebacks.

1) Keep your mindset positive with Mindset Book

2) Build resiliene and thrive with Building Resilience Book

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By Nan Nan Liu-Maffetone | Strong Female Leaders | Reading Time: Five Minutes

Wouldn't it be nice if you can create more time at work? It feels difficult, but it can be done, if you are willing to put in the time to practice. Keep working at it. The benefits are rewarding.

Feeling swamped at work?
You will always feel like you have more work load than your capacity allows. So how can you accomplish so much work with so little time? Better time management helps. If you can "create" more time each day, you not only get more tasks done and get ahead in the project timeline, you also gain a sense of accomplishment and calm. In turn, your stress level will also calm down. Want to learn how? The following time saving tactics help.
1. Time block each day.
Time blocking boosts productivity by blocking off time slots so you can focus on one main activity. Doing so allows you to put all of your mental capacity on one thing, setting you up to succeed in that one thing. It also lets you avoid time hoggers such as meetings, phone calls, and emails. The most helpful time blocking method is the "engineer vs. manager:" where in the mornings, when you are the most productive, called "engineer" time, finish all the productivity-oriented tasks such as strategic planning, writing, or coding. In the afternoons, when you are less alert, finish all the managerial tasks such as responding to emails, holding meetings, and attending team events.

There’s nothing more frustrating than being interupted by phone calls and meetings, and not making enough progress. Time blocking each day protects your most valuable time first, so you are guaranteed to make progress.
2. Wait on it.
Immediately agreeing to every commitment and answering every request is your natural reaction. As a high-achieving professional, you want to feel valuable, help others, and do your best. However, you also risk being stretched too thin. To avoid this fast-track to burnout, when your attention is being requested, wait to respond if you can. For some requests, you can even wait a few days. Sure, priorities require immediate attention. Most likely, though, 80% of the requests that you receive are less urgent, vaguely stated, or even irrelevant to you.

If you need help determining the priority of each request, ask the following questions:
  • Will it contribute to advancing your career?
  • Will you gain a new skill from it?
  • Will doing it impede important work?
  • If you cannot justify why you should answer the request at all, just politely say no.
    3. Reschedule if you can.
    When priorities and deadlines compete, you can always re-prioritize and reschedule. Instead of forcing through mounts of tasks and meetings, lean out your day by re-scheduling less important tasks, meetings or projects out for several days.

    Giving yourself room to breath helps you focus better on the matter at hand. When you have the capacity to dedicate more energy to the most important matter at the moment, you are less likely to make mistakes.
    Parting Thoughts
    Creating time is no small feat. And it certainly requires practice. It helps to perform a review at the end of each work day, and week, to find areas for improvement. How you structure your day impacts success and productivity. So make it a habit, and keep working on it. The benefits will be rewarding.

    1) Dive deep into better time management with Strategies and Tips for Time Management

    2) Plan each day like a pro with the Blue Sky Day Designer Vertical Daily and Monthly Planner

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    By Eroh K | Strong Female Leaders | Reading Time: Five Minutes

    Having a self care day routine is essential for your well-being. Just because you are juggling priorities doesn't mean you should forget your own needs. Taking care of yourself, and especially with a periodic self care day routine, boosts confidence, self-esteem, and self worth.

    Self-Care Day Routine: Daily Self Care Regimen for A Healthier You
    Everyone knows that practicing a self care day routine is essential for nurturing the health. But when it comes to implementing this practice, it becomes challenging. While women might be handling different priorities at once, it often makes them forget their own needs, which can boost their confidence and self-esteem.

    Sure, you might consider your once-in-a-blue-moon gym sessions or beauty appointments as a self care regimen, but if you want to feel good about yourself, it is vital to perform regular activities.

    If you ignore these practices, you might end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Thus, if you want to become the best version of yourself, it is good to take care of your soul, mind, and body. This article contains information about self-care routine that will help to maintain a good relationship with yourself: Self-care ideas in the morning

    You don’t have to view daily self care routine as a time consuming and complicated task. It should be all about the small things that you tune in to take care of yourself. The morning hours are the best time to practice self-care. It allows one to have a refreshed and happy day.
    In the Morning
    1. Make your bed
    Making your bed perfectly is a good way of making yourself feel good. Who doesn’t want to sleep in a well-made bed after a long day of work? Thus, if you want to encourage good sleeping hygiene, it is good to spend time making the bed.

    Also, making the bed is the first task of the day you’ll accomplish. It gives a sense of pride and will encourage you to perform more tasks.
    2. Drink a hot cup of tea or coffee
    Taking a hot cup of tea or coffee can make a big difference in your day. Tea and coffee beat other alternatives of morning drinks. They contain caffeine, which is a natural stimulant that boosts energy. They are also essential for rehydrating you after long hours of sleep, allowing you to set a tone for a productive day.
    3. Perform yoga or workouts
    A good way to boost your energy levels and focus on your day ahead is by stretching your body. You can achieve this by jogging, walking, or using a yoga video. Self-care ideas before and after meeting

    Within your busy life, there is little time to take care of your body and mind. Making self-care part of your work routine will improve your work relationship.

    4. Manage time
    Stress can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. The main contributor to stress is poor time management. Missing deadlines can increase the amount of anxiety. A good way of managing time is by entering the meeting room a few minutes before the session starts.
    5. Drink water
    The body regulates temperature through sweating. Even when sitting down during the meeting, the body will still maintain a healthy core temperature. Drinking water can help to maintain hydration. Remember, you might spend a lot of hours in the meeting. Thus, it is good to carry enough water in the meeting room.

    Adding enough water consumption into your daily self care routine can increase your brain energy and get ready for the meeting.
    6. Log off all the social media platforms.
    Social media can distract you from concentrating during the meeting sessions. Many people post interesting things on social platforms. Because it can be challenging to switch off your phone, it is good to log off the social media platforms.
    During Lunch
    What comes into many people's minds when they hear about a lunch break is a hearty meal. Although it is good to have a delicious meal during the lunch break, you can perform plenty of things to refresh yourself. The lunch break is an excellent opportunity to incorporate a self care day routine and make sure that you don’t burn yourself out. Here are self-care ideas for the lunch break:
    1. Refresh your mind by chatting with friends and connecting with nature
    The lunch break consists of few hours of rest. So, you will not have much to do. You can pick your phone and try to chat with some of your friends and login into the social platforms to read some interesting pages. Also, walk outside and connect with nature. With this, you’ll breathe fresh air that will rejuvenate your mind.
    2. Take a nap
    Taking a nap during the lunch break might seem weird, but it’s an excellent way to rest your mind and body. With this, you’ll increase your productivity and keep you motivated.
    3. Take a breathe
    Breathing and relaxing can help to calm down your nerves. You can perform some workouts in the office or engage in yoga. As a busy woman, you might not have enough time to attend the gym daily. Thus, utilize this opportunity to stretch your body and take breathe.
    During 3 pm
    A portion of the day has passed, and you’ve managed to accomplish some tasks. So, you need some time to rest and get motivated to continue with the rest of the day. At 3 pm is the best time to pause and add your self care regimen to lower the tension you might be feeling at work. During 3 pm self-care ideas:
    1. Take a short walk
    If you work in a sitting position, it is good to go for a short walk. It helps to recharge, refresh, and clear your mind.
    2. Take a snack
    With the busy schedules, it can be challenging to maintain high energy levels. But do you know that snacks can raise your energy levels? A quick bite can help you to perform better and do great things. You can consume fruits, veggies, or chips to fuel your performance.
    3. Get some inspirations
    You can get things that you are passionate about from your internet. Whether your hobby is traveling or performing home projects, you can find everything online. Pinterest is a good site that has ideas that can inspire your interests.
    After work
    Adding a daily self-care routine after work is a great way of refreshing yourself. Anything that can help you to do away from the busy day is worth the investment. Remember, women have different chores to perform after work. You’ll require having time with your family and preparing dinner. But how can you achieve this after all the pressure from the work? Here are self-care ideas that will help you cope well in the evening hours:
    1. Take a bath
    A relaxing bath after a long day of work can help to lessen the fatigue. However, this doesn’t mean taking a quick shower and wearing your evening dress. You need a relaxing and hot shower to ease muscle pains and aches, increase blood flow, and boost immune functions.
    2. Nurture your skin
    It is a fact that after work, you’ll feel tired and stressed. The skin is the most exposed part to different stresses throughout the day. Thus, evening hours are the best time to take care of your skin. Focus on your face, hands, legs, and the entire body. Make sure you moisturize your skin well and take a massage.
    3. Journaling
    Journaling is a good self-care practice for everyone who wants to come up with goals. Make a summary of how the day was, and pay attention to the things you can improve. Focus on the coming days and the things you want to achieve. You can perform this while taking a cup of hot beverage.
    After dinner
    After dinner is a good opportunity to relax, calm your mind, and reset it for the following day. This time will help you feel relaxed and energized to start the next morning in a productive manner. Although you might feel tired, it is vital to create time for self-care practices. Self-care ideas after dinner:
    1. Socialize
    After dinner is the best moment to create enjoyable moments with your loved ones. Whether it’s your friend or family members, it is good to reach them out either on social media or making calls.
    2. Light a candle
    A scented candle can relax your body or mind. You can choose a scent that will relieve stress and create a relaxing evening.
    3. Take special drinks
    You can buy drinks or consume homemade cocktails. They help to refresh your mind. If you are not a cocktail lover, you can go for wine or beer.
    Self-care ideas before going to bed
    When winding down before bed, it is good to implement self-care practices. They help in preparing for a restful night and reducing tension in the body. It is good to incorporate these 3 self-care ideas to calm the night of sleep:
    1. Wear breathable pajamas
    Not all pajamas are ideal for sleeping. Remember, you want to have that luxury moment at night. So, it is good to consider lightweight, loose, and breathable pajamas. Materials such as cotton and silk are essential as they help to wick away sweat.
    2. Dim the lights
    Dim environment sends a signal to the mind that it is time to sleep. If you add dimming the lights into your night's daily self-care routine, you will be alarming your body to relax and prepare for sleep.
    3. Switch off your phone
    Everyone is attempted to check the phone more often to check social media posts and work emails. If you want to have a nice sleep, it is good to switch off the phone and put it out of the bedroom.
    Parting thhoughts
    Imagine having a non-stop busy day where you lack time for yourself? This stress can make you feel drained and lack of energy. Self-care is vital, especially if you’re a busy woman and don’t have time to relax and refresh your mind. These self-care ideas will help you get a break from stress and boost your physical and emotional health.
    1) You deserve a spa day at home. Soak yourself in a luxury bath with the Lavender and Lilac Spa Gift Basket

    2) Treat yourself to a box of delicious Godiva Chocolate Truffles

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    By Nan Nan Liu-Maffetone | Strong Female Leaders | Reading Time: Five Minutes

    Are you suffering from burnout at work?
    If you continuously feel exhausted, irritated and unmotivated at work, you are most likely suffering from burnout. So what now? Do you look for a new job? Speak with a professional? Or take medical leave? The best remedy is to prevent burnout at work before it happens. To do that, ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Do you have time to rest and recover?
    When it comes to mental and emotional health at work, balance is key. To achieve balance, you must be able to both rest and recover from periods of deep and heavy work. A workload that outweighs capacity can stress you out. So you must learn how to keep the work load balanced, by planning and prioritizing properly, delegating wisely, and letting go of things that you cannot control.
    While we all want to do our best, we must not let perfectionism weigh us down. If you have been over-stretching yourself without much rest or recovery, it is time to take a break before breaking down.
    2. Do you lack autonomy?
    A lack of autonomy indicates a lack of control. At work, it may result from various root causes. Some of the common ones include feeling social pressure from team members, a constant shift in priorities, or a lack of control at home. While you cannot change your circumstances, you can change your approach. You can set firm boundaries with teammates, highlight organizational inefficiencies of shifting priorities to key stakeholders, and take personal leave to work things out on the home front. Gaining back control isn't about having a type A personality, but about getting back a sense of self. When outside pressure dims your inner light, you will burn out quickly. Before that happens, take action and refuel yourself, so you can continue to shine.
    3. Are you being rewarded fairly?
    There are two types of rewards: extrinsic and intrinsic. You need to both to feel accomplished and respected at work.

    Extrinsic rewards include raises, promotions, public recognitions and bonuses. It also includes non-traditional compensations such as extra days off for working overtime during a particularly demanding project, or the ability to work remotely, after COVID too, if your industry permits. Whichever extrinsic reward means the most to you, address it to your superior. If you feel like you have earned it, you should receive it. If you get turned down, it is okay. However, do realize that there is a chance that you and your work place are misaligned in value. If this is the case, you should look elsewhere for a similar position. When values misalign, the relationship rarely works out in the long run. It's better to end it early, and on friendly terms, than to drag it out and cause harm.

    Intrinsic rewards come from how well you are treated by others, including leadership, team members, clients and partners. Ask yourself: are you being appreciated for helping others? Is your name mentioned during presentations that you contributed to? Are your opinions and recommendations being considered seriously, or dismissed, ignored and turned down harshly? If you feel disrespected in anyway, address it with the person, in private and politely of course. If they dismiss or rebuttal your requests, then at least you took action to stand up for yourself. That alone can prevent a burnout.

    4. Are you being properly supported?
    When you confide in your teammates, do they brush you off, give you the cold shoulder, or listen with dedicated attention? Do you feel cared for and included, or ignored and left out? Does your workplace feel like high school, or a mature, open and professional space?

    The workplace culture plays an important role in your overall wellbeing. If it operates in a clique-y, highschool-like manner, and lack a supportive structure, you will burn out from the day-to-day emotional detachment. You can, however, shift the dynamic. Reach out to teammates who seem disengaged. Listen to their problems without judgement or pushing your own opinions. Kindness spread as quickly as burnouts. When you make incremental behaviorial changes, you create a culture of inclusion, kindness and respect.

    It takes one person to turn the ship around, and she could be you.
    Parting thhoughts
    Burnout doesn't just happen. It accumulates from multi-faceted issues overtime until it reaches a tipping out. The good news is: now, as soon as you recognize the symptoms, you can prevent it.

    As a knowledge professional, your choices are limitless. If your current workplace is driving you towards burnout, take a break. Or, take another opportunity. You hold the key to your happiness, and no one else is entitled to that.
    1) Be the type of Leaders Who Last

    2) Find more ways to avoid burnout at High-Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout

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    By Nan Nan Liu-Maffetone | Strong Female Leaders

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    How to Deal with Toxic People at Work?
    From the ferocious bully to the cunning backstabber, toxic coworkers and bosses damage relationships, hinder productivity and cripple morale. If you let them.

    While you can't easily change people's behaviors, you can adjust how you respond to them. Remember this: people's actions reflect how they have been treated by others, which often leads to how they feel inside. When someone tries to make you feel inferior, their own self esteem needs help.

    So what can you do about it? Strong people lift others up, even in the most toxic situations. In fact, in a toxic culture, your team is searching for that strength. So focus on building your own personal power, starting with the following ways to identify and deal with toxic people at work.

    Types of toxic people at work and how to deal with them:
    1. The Bully
    The Bully exhibits sociopathic traits such as speaking disrespectfully, showing aggression, and refusing to feel guilt or remorse when he does wrong. He draws power from marginalizing others, pushing his own agenda relentlessly, initiating interpersonal issues and sometimes doing it for fun, and manipulating and using others for his own benefit.
    However subtle his antics may be, the bully leaves people feeling abused, confused and belittled. He might even make people dread coming to work.
    How to deal?
    Work on your courage. Speak up for yourself, even if your voice shakes. Even if you've been cornered and don't know what to say.
    Say something. Anything! And don't wait for rescue or seek sympathy. This is on you, and you only. If you don't speak up, then you consent to being the weakling.
    If you couldn't quite speak up yet, practice with someone until you can. Most likely, the workplace bully picks on everyone. Yes, he is that insecure! The sooner you can stand up for yourself, the sooner you can stand up for others. You are standing up for a principal; and that is a stronger force than any bullying way.

    2. The Martyr
    On the surface, the Martyr looks like the perfect team member. She works hard, does everything, and makes sure that everyone knows how valuable she is. Then, she complains. Because she feels resentful, under-appreciated and burnt out. Eventually, she complains so much that she pollutes the entire atmosphere.
    How to deal?
    The martyr isn't hopeless, she's just lost. Guide her back to the superstar she once was by coaching her about stress management, finding work-life balance, and delegating responsibilities. Advertise to her the value of taking paid time off, and encourage her to collaborate with others. Lastly, appreciate her. Sometimes, a simple thank you card will do.

    3. The Charity Case
    He is disorganized, frazzled, and utterly helpless. Unfortunate events (divorce, debt, poor health...) happen to him all the time, and he has an excuse for every missed responsibility. Yet he gets away with it all, simply by instigating sympathy.
    How to deal?
    This person desperately needs personal empowerment. Instill it by rejecting future excuses and stopping special treatment. Demand that he does his part and do it with quality, and not because he has to, but because he can. Then, check in with him frequently with the sole intention of reminding him just how awesome and capable he is.

    4. The Popular Kid
    She's fun, entertaining, and knows everyone. She's like the prom queen in high school, except, her socializing occurs during work hours.
    She surrounds herself with her clique, causes distractions with loud look-at-me laughters, takes lengthy coffee breaks to "discuss work issues," thrives on "listening" to others' drama, creates social segregations and hierarchies, and excludes anyone who doesn't quite fit the in-crowd. If you dissagree with her conduct, you risk isolation, exclusion and perhaps being the subject of cruel gossip.
    How to deal?
    Do not succumb to the pressure. In this "high school" culture, you may feel compeled to join the popular crowd. Don't do it! Focus on work, adding value to the team, and most importantly, adding intrinsic value to your own skillsets.
    Popularity offers the most extrinsic power, and it is fleeting. You are stronger than that.

    5. The Backstabber
    He's kind, helpful and loyal to your face. Behind your back, he talks negatively, steals opportunities, and spreads rumors. While backstabbing never results in long-term success, it still hurts relationships and creates mistrust.
    How to deal?
    Instead of dwelling on the hurt and dissapointment you feel, focus on what's important, and that is developing yourself as a professional, leader and role model. Having been stabbed in the back feels terrible, so balance it out by doing something that feels good. What about helping a team member with too much on his plate? Or volunteering for a nonprofit? Or being there for a friend who is experiencing loss?

    You can't control what backstabbers do, but you can turn the negative energy into positive outcomes.

    Parting Thoughts
    Toxic coworkers and bosses exist everywhere. Because they are human beings, and they make mistakes. When people are hurt and vulnerable, they lash out by hurting others. That doesn't mean you have to suffer or mirror what they do. If you know how to respond, your can improve your situation over time. In fact, you can even become the strength they need to grow their own personal power.

    Need more help? The books below are good resources.
    1) The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn't, and Get Stuff Done
    2) Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
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