Thursday, March 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017

How To Negotiate Salary Skilfully Without Being Pushy

Warning: If you think you’re average, don’t read this.

This article is specially written for talented people who want to get a higher pay when getting a new job. If you think you’re just average, this article might not be suitable for you.

Most employees would love to have a higher pay when they get a new job. However, not all employees have the courage to negotiate a salary raise, as the discussion of salary is very often deemed as a taboo, a subject that agitates employers.

As a matter of fact, there can be still much room for negotiation about the details before you sign the contract. As long as you dare to voice out your thoughts, there is a high chance you land in getting what you expect.

This article will provide you with skills suggested by experienced HR and managers on how to negotiate a salary raise before and when you receive an offer.

Before the interview

Make sure you understand the job market

It is important for you to have an expected number in mind first. Otherwise, very likely you will be led reluctantly by any experienced HR.

As Ramit Sethi told in “I Will Teach You to Be Rich”: “If you walk into a salary negotiation without a number, you’re at the mercy of an experienced hiring manager who will simply control the conversation.”

And about what number you should have in mind, it is essential for you to gain some knowledge about what is the usual payment of your position in that industry in that geographic area.

Glassdoor is one helpful source for you to better understand the job market. In this website, when you type in the job title, you can have a glimpse at what salary other people usually get in that post in the specific district.

Should I reveal my expected salary in the cover letter or not?

The question that troubles many job hunters is whether one should write the expected salary in the cover letter or not.

And the answer is: don’t do that!

It is not reasonable to write your expected salary in the cover letter if it is not required in the job ad.

Showing the expected salary in the early stage runs a big risk. If you state something lower than what you deserve, you lose; if you write something higher than what you deserve, you lose too, as it may cost your chance of getting an interview!

In this light, it is better not to state your expected salary in the cover letter if you are not required to do so.

But what if you are required to state the expected salary in the cover letter?

It is not unusual for the companies to want to know the candidates’ expectation in advance. To them, it is a matter of time efficiency — they want to pinpoint the potential employers who will accept their offer, and they do not want to waste time on those who are beyond the benchmark they are willing to offer.

In case you are asked to state the expected salary in the cover letter, you have a few options.

Dodge the question and show your maturity as well

You can dodge stating it directly. You may redirect the focus from the salary to your passion. For instance, you can state: “Salary is only one of the factors I consider paramount in weighing a job offer. I am delighted to discuss it once I am as determined a strong candidate for the position.”

State a range that the company won’t say no to

Or you can state the range you and the company are both comfortable with. In order to provide a safe salary range, you can once again refer to Glassdoor to have a look at what your counterparts usually get. Besides Glassdoor, you are also advised to inquire the personnel in that company beforehand to have a better understanding about what the price your targeted company is comfortable to offer.

State the exact number like $53,750

Or you can directly state the exact number you hope to settle on. Even though it is riskier to state exactly the number, sometimes stating the exact number may do you good. According to researchers at Columbia Business School[1], employees are more likely to be given an offer closer to their initial request, state a more precise number in their initial negotiation request when they state a more precise number in their initial negotiation request. The reason is, as the researchers explain, the employers assume you have prepared extensive research into your market value when you reach that specific number.

Also, when you state the exact number, you can also aim higher than the usual range. It is because psychology shows that your bargaining partner has the feeling that he or she is getting a better deal if he or she negotiates down from your original ask. Given that your employer will almost certainly negotiate down your term, you may need some room and still end up at a salary you are pleased with.

Should I still state it when a standard salary is already stated in job ad?

There are jobs that are fixed with a price. For example you may see figures like these on a job ad: $22/hr, $50/day. For jobs like these, can you still negotiate a higher salary? The answer is yes.

The point is, you should let your employer know how far you exceed their expectations.

In order to persuade your employer, your approach is to emphasize your past achievement and your potential contribution to the company.

For instance, you can negotiate in this way: “I wonder if the salary is flexible. Based on my achievement in education and my past experience in this industrial field, I’m confident I can help the company get 70% growth in the coming year. I wonder if you might be able to offer $Y instead”.

However, one golden rule you should bear in mind is that every employer does have a range in mind. That is to say during the interview you may not want to present yourself as if you were ignorant of the salary information stated at the start. Show them you know it very well but at the same time you know you can over-deliver.

During the interview

When being asked about your current salary

During the interview, the employer may inquire information about your current salary.

However, revealing your current salary may put you at disadvantage if the job you are applying can offer a salary much higher than your current one.

To encounter situation like this, you are advised to quickly draw attention to other topics. Instead of focusing on your current salary, you may once again highlight your skills, your responsibility, and your contribution to the company. As employers desire capable candidates, showing your ability can put you at a better position in the interview.

Besides promoting yourself, you can also express your outlook about the company, and your passion of growth. This can also underscore your ambition, which is also the quality that companies desire to see in candidates. In this way, the flow of the conversation will be around your advantages, instead of your history in the current company.

How to handle if the employer says “NO”

The rejection may sound daunting to you. However, according to Pynchon[2], a negotiation does not really start until someone says no.

She explained: “It’s not really a negotiation if we’re asking for something we know our bargaining partner also wants. Negotiation is a conversation whose goal is to reach an agreement with someone whose interests are not perfectly aligned with yours.”

Therefore, other than feeling sorry for yourself, you should rather be glad that you get a clearer picture about what your employer wants. At the same time, your employer also understands your requirement better.

If your current suggestion is higher than what the company is going to pay, you may lower your term in the negotiation which you still comfortable with, and see if the company still rejects.

Try to reach a common ground with your employer.

If the employer still refuses to compromise, despite asking for a raise in salary, you may change the battlefield from the salary raise to other benefits, such as traveling compensation or vacation days. These all are matters that you can also bring up to the table and negotiate.

Do not accept the offer too soon

If you are landed with an offer, congratulations!

Meanwhile you should still remain your cautiousness. You should not accept the offer too soon. A lot of people are shy to hold on the offer, as they are scared their employers may pull back the offer.

However, most of the time, as affirmed by Chase the career couch, employers don’t do this when they have already spent so much efforts on negotiating with you.

Accepting the offer too soon may cost your opportunity to negotiate better terms. Despite the offer itself, some details can still be negotiated, such as the salary, the bonus, or other benefits. These all have room to be negotiated.

After the interview

Reevaluate your offer

Following the discussion above, you need not accept the offer immediately. Instead, you can ask for more time for consideration. You can ask the employer: “I’m thrilled you want to hire me. Could you just give me a couple of days to think about it?” If the company values you, it will be happy to allow you time to think about.

When you are considering the offer, salary should not be the only determiner. Besides salary, there are also other factors that are worth consideration.

These 7 things, as suggested by PayScale, are things that are also worth your consideration.

  1. Vacation time
  2. The skills you may learn in the company
  3. Exercise
  4. Traveling compensation
  5. Clothing allowance
  6. Means of telecommunication
  7. Access to the company’s product or service

These important factors also have huge influence on whether you will be happy in that company, thus worth of your serious reevaluation.

Show your excitement no matter you’re ok with the salary or not

After receiving the offer, you should first express your appreciation of the company’s decision to hire you. But don’t make it like you really need the job to survive. Instead you should show them how excited you are to contribute for the company and achieve your career goal with them. They will be able to feel your passion and eager to work with you soon.

Only after this you can reveal your stance whether you’re fine with the salary they offer or not. Now, since the company has acknowledged your appreciation, they will be inclined to accept the terms you suggest.

Reference

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What Makes The Differences Between Introverts And Extrovert?

A conversation on Friday night.

‘Let’s head to the bars downtown. I heard there will be a massive party. It’s gonna be real fun!’

Nah, I’ve got 300 pages to catch this weekend.’

‘Come on, don’t be so discouraging. Two hours, okay?’

‘Um.. I would rather-‘

‘Are you really that shy?

‘I just prefer to be alone. It’s tiring outside.’

Typical introvert and extrovert traits, right?

Introverts are shy and always want to be alone. Extroverts are outgoing.

This is a major misconception of introverts and extroverts. Extroverts think that introverts never come out of their room; while in introverts’ mind, extroverts always stay way out of their room. This is a pure misunderstanding between the two.

What if it is because they have to?

We’ve made it wrong – we’re all hybrids

The origins of the terms ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ can be traced back to as early as 1920s, when a Swiss psychologist Carl Jung coined the two terms to contrast between two distinct personality types.

In fact, introversion and extroversion are never two mutually exclusive qualities. More precisely, they are on the two opposite ends of a spectrum. Meanwhile, everyone of us falls on somewhere between the two extremes, only differing by the extent we are more introvert-like or extrovert-like. As Carl Jung put it,

There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum.

▲ No one is a pure introvert or extrovert.

We have no choice. Our brains are the bosses.

Introverts and extroverts may behave very differently in people’s eyes. One may think it is just their preference to work like this. Yet, it is actually their brain that makes such a difference. They have no choice but to cope with it.

How are their brains different?

Extroverts are hungry for stimuli, while introverts have much in store

Extroverts appear sociable and always try to be the centre of attention. This is in fact due to their comparatively weaker sensitivity to stimuli.

That’s why they have to proactively seek outer stimuli in order to reach a functional equilibrium for their minds.

Hans Eysenck, a German psychologist, defines extroverts by analyzing their baseline arousal. The result reveals extroverts have a lower baseline arousal. Consequently, they need to be engaged in more thrilling activities to gain satisfaction while introverts, with a higher baseline arousal, are more easily satisfied.

By contrast, introverts are much more sensitive to stimuli. So they opt to escape from stimuli to avoid being overwhelmed. In fact, it is difficult for them to perform normally if they are constantly under the influence of stimuli.

When it comes to recharging, introverts and extroverts seek entirely different ways as expected. Introverts gain energy by being alone while extroverts recharge themselves through social interaction.

Introverts take the long way, while extroverts take the shortcut

Ever wondered why extroverts think and make decisions much more quickly than introverts?

First, it’s because the prefrontal cortex in the brains of introverts is much thicker than that of extroverts. Prefrontal cortex is an area responsible for deep thinking and planning. That’s why introverts are more fond of spending more time on rumination whenever they need to make decisions or come across some problems.

▲ Introverts’ brains are like a complex transport system, while extroverts’ brains are like a straightforward highway.

Second, when it comes to processing information, introverts take a longer, more complicated pathway. The route passes along areas associated with memory, planning and problem-solving.

By contrast, extroverts take a much shorter shortcut. The pathway mainly runs through areas responsible for sensory processing.

Due to the different pathways they choose, extroverts tend to speak and act quickly, while introverts need more time to come up with a response.

Introverts and extroverts react differently to human faces

Aside from the structural difference of the brain, introverts and extroverts respond differently to human faces. When given a picture of human face and a picture of the wild nature, extroverts reach more vigorously to the human face one. Introverts, on the other hand, respond fairly the same to both pictures.

Of course it doesn’t mean introverts don’t even feel a thing from any interaction. They just feel less strongly. They don’t feel as excited and require comparatively less social interaction to gain satisfaction. They still need social life.

Personality stereotypes are as terrible as gender stereotype…

Stereotypes of introverts and extroverts are deep-rooted in everyone’s minds. Introverts are connected with ‘shy’ and ‘preference to be alone’ while extroverts are associated with ‘outgoing’ and ‘good at talking’.

It is not true.

Introverts in reality may even be a better public speaker for their deep and thorough thinking. Extroverts who have diverse interest in different topics are better at coping with small talk.

Introverts do not prefer loneliness. They simply avoid being overwhelmed by stimuli due to their high sensitivity to stimuli. Hence, they are in favor of close conversation with a small group of people. By contrast, extroverts are in need of external stimuli so they prefer having fun with a large of people.

Can’t relate yourself to the two camps? Here’s the third for you

Till now, we have been focusing on people on the two sides of the “introvert-extrovert” continuum. What about those in the middle?

Ambivert, that’s how we call them.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you prefer time alone while also love people?

2. Do certain situations make you feel outgoing while some reserved?

3. Do you struggle with categorizing yourself as an introvert or extrovert?

If your answer is yes to these questions. You are probably an ambivert.

Ambiverts are those who possess traits from both introverts and extroverts. They exhibit qualities of both extremes in different situations.

For example, you may be uncomfortable in a night club full of people but you feel energized being around your classmates at school. You feel awkward with a bunch of strangers while you are extroverted with your friends.

Most people are actually ambiverts. Like the statement at the beginning, introvert and extrovert are just two extremes.

Find the common language. After all, we’re not from two different planets.

Introverts and extroverts don’t seem to go along with each other.

Not true.

Recognizing and accepting the difference between the two can create the best environment for co-existence.

Advice for introverts:

For introverts, you need to put your treasured ones slightly in front of your work. It may sound uncomfortable but the main point is to look for a comfortable balance between work and social life. Be aware not completely drop out of your social circle.

Socializing with others is necessary. You understand you have limited energy to spare on so spend them wisely. Divide it equally for your work and social circle.

Also, it is important to leave yourself some space to recharge. Never fully devote all the time on the others. Otherwise you will soon be exhausted mentally and physically. Give yourself at least a day per week to recharge.

Striking for a balance is the main point.

Advice for exttroverts:

Extrovert, on the other hand, you need to understand the difference. Don’t force introverts out of their comfort zone. Instead, find out when your introverted friends are okay to hang out. Forcing them out when they don’t want to only ends disastrously. None will be pleased in the end. You can communicate your schedule with them and look for the best possible plan to satisfy both sides.

If, unfortunately, your friends are mostly introverted and you still feel dissatisfied after attempts to compromise, try to expand your social circles then. Join clubs, learn some new skills. Voluntary work would do the job too.

Remember there is nothing bad to be either an introvert, extrovert or ambivert. The most important point is to understand yourself. Embrace who you are. Forcing yourself to become another person is a big no-no. Only by acknowledging and accepting the difference can we all live in a harmonious world.

Featured photo credit: Personality Central via personality-central.com

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Thinking To Register For A Beginners Meditation Class? You Need This Guide More

If you were only allowed to take up one habit, what would it be? For me, it’s meditation. Unquestionably.

Why? Meditation has helped me perform better in every aspect of life. It helps me be more focused and get more done. It makes me more calm and peaceful so I don’t suffer from emotional fluctuations as I used to. More importantly, I have greater control over my mind so I can master the art of living in the present.

Wondering whether meditation can bring so many positive changes to one’s life? Let’s see what science says!

A Harvard research in year 2011 found that meditation can help increase the density of grey matter in the hippocampus of our brains, which is associated with the ability of learning, memory, self-awareness, compassion and introspection. Such restructuring of our brains can improve our mental health and make our minds sharper.[1]

What’s more surprising is meditation can rebuild our brains in only eight weeks! That means you don’t need to be an expert in meditation to reap the benefits.

▲ Subjects of the study demonstrated significant change of brain structure after practicing meditation for 8 weeks.[2]

Thinking of taking meditation as one of your habits but don’t know how to get started? Here are 6 things you can follow:

Look for a distraction-free environment

While an area with total silence is an ideal environment for meditation, it is not a must for everyone. If you think playing some light music can help relieve your stress and make you more relaxed, it’s definitely fine to do so when you meditate. Studies have shown that white noise can help lower our stress level and increase our concentration level.[3]

If you don’t want to meditate in a totally silent environment but have no idea of what to play, you can try start with this one:[4]

Meditate with the posture you feel comfortable

The Quarter Lotus is the most popular meditation posture. You sit on the floor cross-legged and rest your hands on your lap. And your back needs to keep straight throughout the process without slouching.

But if you are the one with chronic back pain problem, this posture may not be the best choice for you. Actually, what posture you have is not the key for meditation. You can also lie on your bed or the floor to meditate. The most important thing is the posture can make you completely relaxed. Here are some variations for you:[5][6]

But please be reminded that if you choose to meditate while lying down, you should keep yourself awake throughout the process.

Focus on your breathing tempo

Having the right breathing tempo is important as it can make you highly relaxed and concentrated, which is the ideal state for meditation.[7]

Close your eyes softly. Breathe as slowly and deeply as you can. Inhale with your nose and exhale from your mouth. If you do deep breathing correctly, you will feel your diaphragm is expanded and stretched.

Some people may even feel some mild pain in their chests. But don’t worry, it’s acceptable as deep breathing is not our usual way of breathing. The discomfort will fade when we practice more.

Always aim for longer exhalation than inhalation. If you difficulty in doing so, you can help yourself by counting numbers. For example, count 1 to 3 to make sure you inhale air within 3 seconds, and then count 1 to 7 for exhalation.

Replace judgement with understanding in your mind

It’s a common misconception that we need to empty our minds and stop any kinds of thinking when we meditate. That’s not the case. Instead, you should be open towards whatever thoughts or emotions pop up in your mind without judging them.

Even if negative emotions like frustration, anger and anxiety creep into you mind when you meditate, you should not avoid them but understand why they are formed.

After all, the ultimate goal of meditation is to understand more of yourself and so you can have greater control of your mind.

Never let time disturb you

Whenever you meditate, always aim to do it for at least 15 minutes. Why? As a beginner, it is challenging for you to get your mind instantly prepared for meditation. If the time is too short, you may not be able to enter the zone before the session ends.

But if 15 minutes is too challenging for you for the first time, start with 2 minutes first, and then gradually increase the time afterwards.

Also, remember to grab a timer with you. This can spare your mind from thinking much about the time so you can focus on your breathing and thoughts. If you don’t have a timer yet, try this free online meditation timer !

Have a guide to keep you on the right track

You are inevitably prone to feeling lost whenever you start doing something without proper guidance. This is the case for meditation too. Audio guided meditations which provide clear step-by-step instructions can be a great help to you. By listening to what the instructor says, you can shut out the mental self-talk and keep your concentration intact.

Here’s a good one for you:[8]

So how do you know you’re meditating instead of just daydreaming?

We all struggle between mental turbulence and mental dullness every day. That’s what we call emotional fluctuations in another term. Through meditation, we aim to find our inner equilibrium, which is the sweet spot in this image:[9]

▲ Through meditation, you can strike a mental balance.

When you reach your inner equilibrium, you will experience unprecedented calmness, mental clarity and sensitivity to the surroundings.

But honestly, this is hard for beginners. So better indicators should be the ability to get less influenced by your emotions and feel concentrated more easily.

When do you know you’re having progress when you play sports or musical instruments? That’s the moment when you need less time to perform a skill. It’s the same for meditation. You should look for spending less time to get into the zone in the beginner level.

Common problems you may encounter when you start

Q: My mind just keeps wandering and I can’t stop self-talk when I meditate. What should I do?

A: Keep your mind occupied with a simple task. You can play a game of counting your breathing when you meditate. And it would be good if you keep changing the rules in the process. For example, you can start by counting 1 to 10 in sequence, then count backwards, and finally only count the odd numbers or even numbers. The key of this game is to maintaining the sensitivity of your mind and your focus.[10]

Q: It’s hard for me to be fully relaxed. Should I start meditation first and calm myself by tuning my breathing tempo afterwards?

A: No, you should never meditate when your mind is highly agitated. Doing this will only weaken the effectiveness of meditation. Make use of some external means, like doing exercise, listening to soft music, taking a shower or talking to your friends, to de-clutter your mind first.

Q: I feel sleepy and just can’t help nodding off when I meditate. But I find this relaxing to me. Is this state acceptable for meditation?

A: There’s nothing wrong if you meditate only for relaxation. But if you want to reap the benefits of having a sharper mind and better concentration through this habit, you should train your mindfulness and alertness. When you feel sleepy, you can straighten up your back, lift up your chin a bit, and inhale more deeply. Then you will feel more awake when you meditate.

Reference

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These 50 Quotes About Letting Go Have Successfully Helped Me To Move On

Letting go is one of the hardest things we have to pick up in life. It’s hard because it’s something that we don’t want to do but we know we NEED to do.

I am sure we have all been there. As we grow older, there will be more things we have to learn to let go. Friendships that we once treasured, relationships with the people we love but just don’t work out or simply bad habits/situations that we have been staying stuck with for a long time, and I am sure the list goes on.

No matter what you are planning to let go, it’s good to get some inspirations and motivations along the way. Here I would like to share with you some of the quotes I keep going back to whenever I need to let go something I reluctant to in 2017.

1. “Letting go is not getting rid of memories. Memories will stay, they always do. Letting go is making sure that the pain associated with the memories goes away.”
—Arti Honrao


2. “Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”—Octavia Butler


3. “Letting go may sound so simple, but rarely is it a one-time thing. Just keep letting go, until one day it’s gone for good.”
—Eleanor Brownn


4. “Why do people persist in a dissatisfying relationship, unwilling either to work toward solutions or end it and move on? It’s because they know changing will lead to the unknown, and most people believe that the unknown will be much more painful than what they’re already experiencing.”
– Anthony Robbins


5. “Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”
—Deborah Reber


6. “What happens when you let go, when your strength leaves you and you sink into darkness, when there’s nothing that you or anyone else can do, no matter how desperate you are, no matter how you try? Perhaps it’s then, when you have neither pride nor power, that you are saved, brought to an unimaginably great reward.”
—Mark Halperin


7. “The most difficult aspect of moving on is accepting that the other person already did.”
– Faraaz Kazi


8. “You don’t need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.”
– Guy Finley


9. “Holding on is believing that there’s a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.”
—Daphne Rose Kingma


10. “Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.”
—Hermann Hesse


11. “I think that you never fall out of love with somebody, you just let go and move on.”
—Ashley Rickards


12. “There’s an important difference between giving up and letting go.”
–Jessica Hatchigan


13. “Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”
—Steve Maraboli


14. “It’s hard to be clear about who you are when you are carrying around a bunch of baggage from the past. I’ve learned to let go and move more quickly into the next place.”
—Angelina Jolie


15. “Letting go of someone we love is the hardest thing we will ever do. Some people never surrender to love for the fear of being hurt. But to not have loved, to not have felt the immense joy it brings, would have been a far worse kind of death.”
—Goldie Hawn


16.” It is by giving the freedom to the other, that is by letting go, we gain our own freedom back.”
—Aleksandra Ninkovic


17. “Accept the fact that you will grow apart from people you’ve had significant relationships with. Understand when someone no longer positively affects your life. Let them go. Don’t hinder your growth.”
—Unknown


18. “If love becomes too painful, then it’s time to let that love go and save yourself. You have to keep this in mind because you’ll be able to find another love but not another self.”
—Robert Tew


19. “Letting go is the willingness to change your beliefs in order to bring more peace and joy into your life instead of holding onto beliefs that bring pain and suffering…”
—Hal Tipper

20. “Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?”
– Leo Buscaglia


21. “There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”
– Unknown


22. “There’s a trick to the Graceful Exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over – and to let go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its value.”
—Ellen Goodman


23. “Your past does not equal your future.”
– Anthony Robbins


24. “You can’t move forward if you’re still hanging on.”
—Sue Fitzmaurice


25. “To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit.”
– Jack Kornfield


26. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.”
– Lao Tzu


27. “Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
—Oprah Winfrey


28. “They say when you really love someone, you should be willing to set them free. So that is what I am doing. I will step back and you will move on. I will let you go….Your happiness means everything to me. I will listen for your voice in the distance. I will look at the moon. I will keep you in my pocket. I will carry your smile with me everywhere, like a warm and comforting glow.”
—Tabitha Suzuma


29. “We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
– Joseph Campbell


30. “Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energy moving forward together towards an answer.”
– Denis Waitley


31. “If you want to fly on the sky, you need to leave the earth. If you want to move forward, you need to let go the past that drags you down.”
— Amit Ray


32. “Pain will leave you, when you let go.”
—Jeremy Aldana


33. “The truth was, he now belonged only to my past, and it was time I begin to accept it, as much as it hurt to do so.”
—Tammara Webber


34. “Why let go of yesterday? Because yesterday has already let go of you.”
—Steve Maraboll


35. “The person who doesn’t value you is blocking you from the one who will. Let them go.”
—Robert Tew


36. “If someone doesn’t care to accept you, respect you, believe in you, don’t hesitate to move on and let them go. There are many who love and appreciate you just the way you are.”
—Amaka Imani Nkosazana


37. “Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you’ll come to realize how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with you. You’ll see that no one else other than you was responsible. The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival.”
—Osho


38. “It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”
– Theodore Roosevelt


39. “Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over.”
– Guy Finley


40. “I demolish my bridges behind me…then there is no choice but to move forward.”
– Fridtjof Nansen


41. “Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.”
– Raymond Lindquist


42. “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
– Lyndon B. Johnson


43. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”
– J. K. Rowling


44. “You’ve got to make a conscious choice every day to shed the old – whatever ‘the old’ means for you.”
– Sarah Ban Breathnach


45. “Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.”
–Justin Timberlake


46. “Sometimes the door closes on a relationship, not because we failed but because something bigger than us says this no longer fits our life. So, lock the door, shed a tear, turn around and look for the new door that’s opened. It’s a sign that you’re no longer that person you were, it’s time to change into who you are. It’s going to be okay.”
—Lee Goff


47. “Time doesn’t heal emotional pain, you need to learn how to let go.”
—Roy Bennett


48. “Take all the time you need to heal emotionally. Moving on doesn’t take a day, it takes lots of little steps to be able to break free of your broken self.”
—Tere Arigo


49.”The bottom line is this; when one person stops being a part of your life, another one will come, and fill that empty space. Leave the ones who left in the past, right where they belong, and never look back.”
—Ena Snow


50. “The moment after being let go, when we can finally let it go, is the moment when love once again has hope.”
—Brian MacLearn


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Why We Procrastinate So Easily And How to Stop Procrastination

We are all guilty of procrastinating from time to time—there’s always something more interesting than the work in hand. We usually think it’s no big deal, since deadline is our biggest inspiration, and we do our best work when we’re inspired. We may even joke about it.

However, procrastination is a massive waste of time as it turns out.

A survey in 2015 found that on average, a person loses over 55 days per year procrastinating, wasting around 218 minutes every day on doing unimportant things.[1] Here’s the maths:

218 minutes/day x 365 = 79570 minutes = 55.3 days

That’s a lot of time wasted!

If you think you need to have a lot of willpower to get productive, you’re wrong.

We’re human beings, we all have limited willpower. Our brain is wired to instant gratification. Temporary rewards are always more tempting to us.

When you make plans, you’re making plans for your future self. You’ll only experience the benefits in future. But most of the time, the present moment can give you the immediate reward you want, making you want to delay the plans and just enjoy the moment.[2]

This is why relying on our willpower to stop procrastination will never be effective. What we should do is to look into the root causes of procrastination and start with the small things we can do every day and build a habit of staying productive.

Basically there’re 5 common reasons why we procrastinate.

Identify the real reason and find out how to stop procrastination accordingly:[3]

Type 1: The Perfectionist

They are the ones who pay too much attention to the minor details. The perfectionist is afraid to start a task because they get stressed out about getting every detail right. They can also get stuck in the process even when they’ve started since they’re just too scared to move on.

Advice for the Perfectionist:

Instead of letting your obsession with details take up all your time, be clear about the purpose of your tasks and assign a time limit to each task.[4] This will force you to stay focused and finish your task within the time frame.

For example,

If you’re going to write a report, be clear about the purpose of the report first.

If the goal of having the report is to clearly present the changes in data over the past few months, don’t sweat too much about writing up a lot of dainty words; rather, focus more on the figures and charts. Just make sure the goal can be reached, and there’s really no need to work on things that don’t help you achieve the ultimate goal.

Type 2: The Dreamer

This is someone who enjoys making the ideal plan more than taking actions. They are highly creative, but find it hard to actually finish a task.

Advice for the Dreamer

To stop yourself from being carried away by your endless imagination, get your feet back on the ground by setting specific (and achievable) goals for each day based on the SMART framework. Set a goal and break down the plan into small tasks that you can take actions right away.[5]

For example,

If you dream about waking up earlier every day, set a clear goal about it – “In 3 weeks, I will wake up at 6:30am every day.”

Then, break this goal down into smaller tasks:

  • From tonight onwards, I will go to sleep before 11:00pm.
    • Set alarm to remind me to go to sleep
    • Schedule earlier friends gathering so I can go to sleep early
  • For the 1st week, I will wake up at 7:30am even for non-working days
    • Go jogging or swimming in the morning for weekends

… and the task list goes on.

Also, you should reflect on your progress while you work. Track your input and output for each task, so you can easily tell which tasks are only a waste of time with little importance.[6] This can help you focus on doing the things that bring positive results, which will improve productivity.

Type 3: The Avoider

The worrier are scared to take on tasks that they think they can’t manage. They would rather put off work than be judged by others when they end up making mistakes.

Advice for the Avoider

I know checking emails seems tempting, but don’t make answering emails the first thing on your to-do list.[7] More often than not, emails are unimportant. But they steal your time and mental energy before you even notice.

Instead, focus on the worst first.[8] Spend your morning working on what you find the most challenging. This will give you a sense of achievement, and helps you build momentum for a productive day ahead.

Try to break down your tasks into smaller sub-tasks. Understand how much time and energy is really needed for a given task. Make realistic calculations.

For example,

A 2000-word report does seem to take a lot of time and effort, it does seem scary to just start working on it. But is there anyway to break this down into smaller pieces so it’ll seem less scary? What about this:

  • Introduction: around 100 words (15 min)
  • Table of content (5 min)
  • Report on the financial status: a chart with 100 supporting text (20 min)
  • Case study: 3 cases based on the new business model with around 400 words each (around 40 min each)
  • Conclusion: around 800 words (30 min)

Does it look a lot more easier now?

Type 4: The Crisis-maker

Now the crisis-maker deliberately pushes back work until the last minute. They find deadlines (the crises) exciting, and believe that they work best when being forced to rush it.

Advice for the Crisis-maker

Being forced to rush the work will perform better is just an illusion because it actually leaves you no room for reviewing the work to make it better afterwards.

If you always leave work until the last minute, try using the Pomodoro technique. Literally the ‘tomato technique’ developed by Italian entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo.[9]

It focuses on working in short, intensely focused bursts, and then giving yourself a brief break to recover and start over.

For example,

Use a timer and divide your complex work into small manageable sessions. In between the small sessions, give yourself a break to recover.

While giving your brain a regular break can highly boost your performance by recharging your brain’s energy;[10] having completed the tasks earlier allows you to have plenty of time to go through your work again to make it even better.

Type 5: The Busy Procrastinator

This type of procrastinators are the fussy ones. They have trouble prioritizing tasks because they either have too many of them or refuse to work on what they see as unworthy of their effort. They don’t know how to choose the task that’s best for them and simply postpone making any decisions.[11]

Advice for the Busy Procrastinator

You have to get your priorities straight. Important tasks should take priority over urgent ones because ‘urgent’ doesn’t always mean important.[12] You only have so much time and energy, and you don’t want to waste that on things that don’t matter.

Identify the purpose of your task and the expected outcome. Important tasks are the ones that add value in the long run.

Replying an email that’s written “please get back to me asap” seems to be urgent, but before you reply that email, think about how important it is compared to other tasks.

For example,

Imagine the email is sent by a client asking about the progress of a project and she wants you to reply her as soon as possible; at the same time you have another task about fixing the logistics problem that is affecting all the projects on hand. Which one should you handle first?

The time cost for replying an email is as low as just around 5 minutes but the benefit is also very low because you’re just satisfying one client request. Fixing the logistic problem probably takes a lot more time but it’s also a lot more worth it because by fixing the problem, you’re saving all the projects on hands, benefiting the whole company.

Be smart about every small choice you make because…

You may notice most of the characteristics of procrastinators have to do with their mindset. They keep delaying work because of some sort of fear. This is exactly why tweaking our attitude towards work can help us stop procrastinating and become more productive.

Changing our mindset may seem a lot of work. But by doing the smallest things every day, you’re getting used to the way you handle works — from setting goals, to breaking down tasks, to evaluating each task’s values.

Reference

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scutteh: Here are a tiny handful of pictures from The Oscars...



















scutteh:

Here are a tiny handful of pictures from The Oscars shoot I mentioned in my last post.

It was hectic but I really enjoyed it. Over 2000 photos were available in the end so that everyone had a few photos to pick from! 

It has been cool to see them pop up here an there over social media as people explain their specific roles on the show. Someone took my photo with it as well but I only had a small hand in helping on this particular show and wasn’t directly involved (you may have seen some making of interviews recently which I did, we also took some of the lighters on a physical lighting workshop to help their lighting development!).

Shot on a 5dmkIII+25-70 f2.8 and D7200+70-200 f2.8