You will love this time-saving hack



Time saving hack




I recently heard Anne Lamott’s audio writing workshop and there was one story (and hack) that I particularly liked.


Anne was telling how she doesn’t care much for style and how she usually wears comfy clothes. But that one time she was dating an annoying man (her exact words), who loved short and tight dresses and skirts. So she went shopping with her best friend and tried on a tight lavender dress. Probably unhappy with what she saw in the mirror, Anne asked her best friend: “Do you think it makes me fat?” Her best friend gave the most amazing answer: “Come on Anne, you don’t have that kind of time!”


The answer blew my mind. It blew Annie’s mind as well. In fact, she made it her personal mantra.
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Repeat after me



Repeat-after-me-writing-exercise




I am not my fear. But I am willing to face it.


I am not my body. I am free.


I am not my work, but I’m willing to do it daily.


I am not my failures and I am willing to show up again.


I am not my inner critic. I am willing to separate us.


I am not my anxiety. I know I can do this.


I am not my job, but I’m grateful for it.


I am not my anger, but I’m willing to feel it in my body.


I am not comparable to anyone, except to myself from the past.


I am not alone. The entire Universe is supporting me.


I am opened to see better.


I am opened to receive.


I am opened to give.


I am ready.


This day is just as it should be.


I am exactly where I need to be.


Creative energy is translated through me.


I am ready.


Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say and to whom?


I am ready.


Show me what you’ve got.



This was my writing exercise named:


REPEAT AFTER ME.


I wrote an array of lines that I needed to hear. It looks like the preparation for the creative process. Or for the new day. It might look like the list of affirmations.


(Btw, the coolest affirmations that I’ve encountered were those from the book “May Cause Miracles”. Before that, most of the affirmations that I’ve seen were like: “I am living in ____, I am working at____, I am happily married and have two kids.” Blah! Gabby has created miraculous, inspiring, thought provoking affirmations. I brought them with me every day and I identified my subtle, tangled patterns of thoughts and behaviors. “I am not my body. I am free,” is one of those.)


Now it’s your turn to write and repeat. Open a blank document, and spill your guts. Create a list of affirmations. Good reminders. Non-automated thoughts. Write and repeat. (Don’t forget to reflect, the repetition itself may not be enough.) But it will feel good. It has to.


You don’t have to invent the metaphysical wisdom that the world hasn’t yet seen. Your affirmations can be small and ordinary. It’s not that we don’t know. It’s that we forget. ((Tweet this!)) We get distracted. We get busy. We get anxious. We need the reminders.


Try this exercise out and share a few of your lines with me in the comments below. Jim Kwik uses the acronym HHH (Head- Heart- Hands) for quick learning. If you read this post (Head) and it resonated with you (Heart), you have to do the writing exercise (Hands) so that the lesson can stick.


Enjoy and repeat.


XXX


Miss Strangelove


P. S. Cookie of Wisdom: “Man more frequently requires to be reminded than informed.” Samuel Johnson ((Tweet this!))

10 great mini habits to practice daily



Small-habits




We are ending the four weeks under the MAGNIFYING GLASS, I would like to share with you one of my answers from Quora. It is about mini habits. We all know that habits are important, yet we have so much on our plates. Who can meditate half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening? I certainly can’t.


Instead of talking about radical changes that take tons of time, let’s talk about tiny changes that everyone can do in a couple of minutes and make life easier. Or happier. ((Tweet this!))


Here are my 10 ideas:


1. Clean as you go.


2. If you have pending task that you can do in 2 minutes or less (answering “yes” on an email, hanging your coat the second you enter the house), do it immediately!


3. Wash the dishes the same moment you put them in the sink.


4. When you are starting new task… pause, take a deep breath. Ask yourself: “What do I want to create now?” Don’t just jump from one thing to another.


5. When tempted to check your facebook/twitter/fill-in-the-blank, write one line on the paper. Next time write another one. When you draw 5th line, open facebook/twitter/fill-in-the-blank. So good hack!


6. When you meet your partner, kiss him or her. Always. Although you live together for years.


7. When you work on your computer for more than half an hour, stand up, stretch backwards, shake your hands. Just move. Sitting for hours is killing us.


8. Instead of liking/upvoting someone’s post, write a comment. That establishes real connection and it takes a minute.


9. Unplug from all electronic devices at least 1 hour before going to bed. + Set go-to-bed-alarm.


10. Smile.


Now I would like to hear from you. What are the mini habits that you recommend? What small improvements can I introduce to make my life more fun, more productive or just simpler? Share your favorite mini habits with me in the comment section below.


XXX


Miss Strangelove


P. S. The Cookie of Wisdom: “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”  Napoleon Hill ((Tweet this!))

10 ways to benefit from silence daily



Silence




Information age. Wifi everywhere. Portals, social networks, blogs, podcasts, news, TV. Blablabla, endlessly. It became our drug of choice. Time killer. We know a lot, but we understand little. And while the benefits of information avalanche are numerous (such as where to find cheapest toaster and get it within 2 days), we still need to go back to our roots occasionally. To silence. To inner wisdom we forgot that we have.


“Hey, but I don’t live at Tibet. I am a busy person and I always have people around me.” It’s cool. You can still enjoy the silence and benefit from it greatly. Here are 10 ways to do it. Even if you are busy, extroverted and want to stay up-to date.


Warning: Side effects include peace, mindfulness and inspiration.


1. MEDITATION


Making mind silent. We have thoughts after thoughts after thoughts. But the tiny space between two thoughts is interesting place. Deepak Chopra calls it field of infinite possibilities. David Lynch uses it to dive deep and catch a big fish. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. So train it daily. By going to silence.


“To understand the immesurable, the mind must be still.” Jiddu Krishnamurti ((Tweet this!))


2. KILL YOUR TV


“I don’t really watch it, I just like to have some noise…..you know, not to be alone.” BS. Be alone. That’s awesome. That’s how you create, dream, relax, digest emotions, tap into your intuition, learn about yourself. That’s how you grow. Kill background noise. TV is contaminating you with a world view full of fear and hatred. It creates the truth for you. Kill it. Tim Ferris is on an information diet. (Me too.) Cheap entertainment and depressive news won’t make you smarter or more productive.


“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” Groucho Marx ((Tweet this!))


3. TALK LESS, LISTEN MORE


Chances are you won’t learn anything new while you talk. OK, maybe if you are giving a lecture or speech in front of some cool crowd. Otherwise, in small, everyday talk, you will just repeat your (already repetitive) thoughts over and over again. “You know, I bought this bike rack for 30, it had everything I needed I just went to the bank machine for some cash, I parked in front of the building and texted the guy…..It was a good deal, good deal really. Did I tell you it was just 30$?”


Silence can help you greatly. Everyone loves talking. And everyone talks. Very few people listen. Stop your urge to answer, interrupt or toss an example from your vivid life. Don’t say anything. Listen. You’ll meet the people. You’ll connect with them. You’ll learn about their problems, their fears, their ways of thinking. You will come up with solutions. You’ll become indispensable.


“We have two ears and one mouth and we should use the proportionally.” Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in World that Can’t Stop Talking ((Tweet this!))


4. STOP OVER EXPLAINING


Oh, this one was big for me. “Oh, I am not able to go to the party tomorrow. I was thinking and thinking and you know what? I think I am kinda exhausted, I had so much going on and we moved to a new place last week. Besides, I have two exams and big project deadline on Monday. Would it be OK if I don’t come? We could go for beer on Tuesday, right?” Dammit, of course it’s right. No one will die and the Earth won’t stop. Desire for over explanation originates from lack of confidence. It was my case.


Instead, I try to make short answers: “Sorry, it doesn’t work for me.” “I am busy on Saturday.” “Thanks, but I have something else.” And……SHHHHHHHH! Smile. It is OK. It is always OK.


“‘NO’ is a complete sentence.” Annie Lamot ((Tweet this!))


5. UNWIND AT THE END OF THE DAY


One of the common causes of sleep problems is jumping into the bed right after a couple of hours in front of TV or web surfing. Brain is still up and active, blue light from electronic devices boosts your attention. It’s no wonder that you cannot sleep immediately.


Man is wired differently. Before electrification, our predecessors were spending every evening in relative darkness. And they could fall asleep and wake up easily and early. Consider going back to the roots. Just a little. Incorporate some silence before going to bed. Turn your electronics off. (Except for Kindle.) Read, journal, meditate, relax. Silence will serve as a lullaby.


“One of the secrets of long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything before going to bed.” Bernard Baruch ((Tweet this!))


6. DON’T START YOUR DAY WITH NEWS AND BUZZ


When speaking about morning routines, a lot of people proudly point our that they check their email, social networks and news first thing in the morning. And it’s well known that productive and successful people have morning routines, right? Email, social networking and especially news are toxic and distracting ways to set your mood for the day. Tell me how do you feel when you listen about plane crash in China, take a glimpse into honey moon photos of high school friend that drives you crazy and see and email from your boss that you absolutely have to talk today before you had a chance to grab the coffee? (Uhhh, I am nervous just writing about it.)


Morning is powerful part of the day. We should use it to step into our power, to set the mood and energy for the day ahead. To think about what we want to create, rather than mindlessly react to whatever the world serves to us. I suggest powerful start of the day with idea list, meditation and writing. (Coffee is default.) You can choose for yourself. Include silence. You will love it.


“Every night when I go to bed I die and every morning I wake up I am born again.” Mahatma Gandhi ((Tweet this!))


7. MAKE YOUR INNER GREMLIN SHUT UP


This is easier said that done. My gremlin is not easy to negotiate with. She is bitchy, grumpy old lady, perfectionist and she is “always right”. And never satisfied. If I play safe, she will say that I settle for mediocre. If I want to do something big and brave, she asks me who am I to be awesome.


But I found a trick. I listen to her, acknowledge what she has to say. “Thanks for sharing, my lady.” And then I do my own thing. And she shuts up. That is marvelous silence. Freedom. When she shows up again, we repeat the procedure. The key is to always go back to silence. That’s the space for you to be who you are meant to be.


“Don’t believe everything you think.” Thomas Kida ((Tweet this!))


8. WAIT BEFORE YOU ANSWER


I have learned this big idea from the book “Essentialism”. It is the cure to overcommitment, busy calendar and mess in life. Once you know what is important and what is your priority, whenever you get invitation say:” Let me take a look at my calendar and get back to you.” No one will get angry or force you to answer immediately. This gives you time to think, digest and decide if that is the best time investment you can make.


Without silent break, you will answer automatically. “Yes, of course I’ll come.” And probably regret it 5 minutes later, remembering all the important things sitting on your to do list. Or the time with your family. Or the necessary rest your body is crying for. The gift of silence will make you smarter. Always wait a bit. World can wait too.


“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” Greg McKeown ((Tweet this!))


9. SHUT UP AND WRITE


Seth Godin has noticed that a lot of people complain about “writer’s block”, while no one ever complained about “speaker’s block”. Truth! I can speak and speak. And repeat. Without caring about the quality. But when it comes to writing, I feel as if I have to say something meaningful, deep, something inspiring. And it won’t always come thorough my fingers to the keyboard.


Solution: write as you speak. Write a lot. Eliminate a lot. Shut up and write. Do a free writing prompt. Cut your cycle of repetitive thoughts by putting them on the paper (or Evernote). Silent your inner buzz. And the meaningful stuff will eventually show up.


“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin ((Tweet this!))


10. DO SAVASANA


Every yoga practice ends with Savasana, corpse pose. (Very simple, you lay on your back and relax.) In that way you are collecting all the wisdom that your body has experienced through the practice. Yoga masters say that practice without Savasana is meaningless.


Even if you aren’t a yogi, short Savasana here and there can benefit you greatly. When I come exhausted from work, I usually take short Savasana. 5 minutes and that’s it. It changes my energy and makes me fresh to enjoy the rest of my day. Warm recommendation. Do it after work, after period of writing, after a talk to a client, after a long period of studying. Soak the wisdom through the silence.


“Corpse pose restores life.” Terri Guillemets ((Tweet this!))


That’s it. Now it’s your turn. Which one of these ideas are you going to try today? What are your favorite ways to enjoy the silence? Share it with me in the comments bellow.


If you liked this post and you know someone else will like it too, please share it.


XXX


MISS stRANGELOVe

The first thing that each creator must do is….


Today you’ll do a 20 minute free writing exercise on a prompt:


PERFECT DAY.


Hour after an hour, action after an action. Form the moment you get up to the moment you go to sleep. Incorporate as many details as possible. Write about your own idea of perfect day. Not about the way it should be. Not about the way it is right now. Make your own vision.


Catch: You should write about your perfect WORK day. Not about the day on the vacation, Bora Bora and mojitos at the beach. It should be average, but perfect work day. Write about your perfect workplace, work schedule, perfect meals, workouts, meetings, free time activities, about the ideal, creative combo of ordinary stuff.


What will this exercise do for you? It will help you become a powerful creator of your day. It will help you define priorities and discard unimportant. Let me tell you the secret: most people never bother to create their day. They hustle, reacting to whatever comes up. They wait for the news, mails, requests from their bosses and coworkers and try to do what is expected of them. They never do big things, they never create, they never live great lives.


Creating the ideal vision of your day is a mighty first step towards becoming a creator. Your ideal day will be the reflection of your bigger vision for your life. A map. Of course, things will always come up, but, once you have the map, you’ll never be lost and distracted again. What do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to become? What do you want to be known for? Let these questions help you draw the map.And map will provide you with ideas how can your day be a little bit more alike to the ideal version.


One last thing: this (average) PERFECT DAY shouldn’t be the day when you sleep for 5 hours, work for 16, drink 5 beers and fall into unconsciousness. Noooo! It is neither perfect, nor average. Kill your tendency to say: “No, 8 hours of work is not enough. I should be working more.” Perfect day includes work, rest, good meals, activities and socializing. It should be repeated and repeated and repeated. Can you imagine where will you be in two years if you study Spanish for 1 hour every day? Where will you be in 5 years with 10 minutes of meditation daily? How creative will you be if you do 20 minutes of free writing every day for 6 months? Got it?


Your turn. What actions can you take to make your day more alike to your ideal day? Should you add something? Or remove something?


XXX


MILENA stRANGELOVe


P. S.Cookie of Wisdom: “I am not afraid of person who knows 10000 kicks. I am afraid of person who knows one kick, but practices it 10000 times.” Bruce Lee ((Tweet this!))