children, education, learning, motherhood, parenting, personal development

How I discovered some new passions

White Printing Paper Near Black Computer Keyboard

I haven’t written for a while because since giving birth to my second child I have been having a few sleepless nights, lots of responsibilities and little time for anything. I don’t like to use time as an excuse so maybe I should re-word it and say that I had time but there were other priorities for me. Even organising my house better was more important than reading and writing for a while. Cleaning doesn’t seem as productive and developing as writing or reading but hey… sometimes we need to be flexible and change our priorities for a while because there is often a lot more on our plates than just taking care of our hobbies.

I’ve always tried to ensure that my passions don’t get pushed aside and that my life won’t be taken over by mundane activities, such as cooking, shopping, cleaning and work; but I guess sometimes we can control our lives a bit more than other times as it is more complex than we may want, especially if we live with people that depend on us in some way.

Anyway, the responsibilities I have had haven’t only been the boring or hard ones after all. With the birth of my second child I had to devote a large proportion of my days to taking care of children: changing nappies and breastfeeding the little one and finding & making up some games and activities I could do with my 4-year-old daughter so I could still spend some quality time with her, and hopefully make her less jealous of the new mini-boss in da house! ūüėČ It actually turned out better than I thought it would – more fun, more interesting. Even though I’m in my 30s I’ve been learning a lot while doing some science experiments and different activities with my child.

Did you know, for example, that adding some hot water to skittles can create a beautiful rainbow?

And that mixing bicarbonate of soda and vinegar will create a little volcano that your child will love? And that adding a bit of vanilla extract will get rid of all the vinegar smell in your house when you are doing this experiment?

Did you know that foam sheets such as those soaked in water for a bit can stick to your window for up to 48 hours? I cut a lot of small pieces in various shapes for my daughter so she could create people, robots, flowers and anything else that her imagination came up with!

Adding food colouring to pasta, rice or shaving foam can be a lot of fun too, especially for a pre-schooler who is still discovering new textures and shapes and exploring the variety the world offers.

Colorful Sweets

I bought some books with screen-free activities and our days have become more colourful and enjoyable than ever before! ūüėČ The book I like the most is 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities from FunAtHomeWithKids.com!

What’s more, I’ve created an Instagram account where I share some of these activities. I have family living in different countries – mainly in Poland and Brazil but also some in the USA, and it feels great when they can see what my daughter and I have been up to sometimes! ūüėČ

If you would like to get some ideas for children’s activities have a look at my new Instagram page and follow us there: https://www.instagram.com/nathikc/ and don’t forget to let me know what you think about the activities!

Attention & concentration, book, books, career, goals, happiness, learning, motivation, personal development, planning, Productive Mondays, productivity, success, time management, time usage, Uncategorized, work-life balance

How to cut out all meaningless stuff?

Yellow and White Ceramic Coffee Mug on Brown Wooden Surface With Black Eyeglasses

There are many tempting things in the world!

Every week try to cut off or limit something that doesn‚Äôt matter much to you but takes up your time‚ÄĒit may be complaining, Facebook, TV, gossiping or worrying about the future. Don‚Äôt feel bad though if you procrastinate a bit sometimes; according to research this is normal and everyone does it. It‚Äôs important not to feel guilty about it and make sure that it doesn‚Äôt take too much of your time and attention.

It’s easy to get into meaningless chats or meet with negative people not because we really want to but because for some reason we feel we should. When you start to say NO to some invitations you may lose some friends. But then, are they real friends if they don’t understand your need to work on something important to you so you can’t hang out with them as much as you used to?

blur, close-up, device

The average adult person who has children has for themselves only around 2 hours a day. Due to lack of energy these 2 hours are often spent in front of the TV in the evenings. Think how you can organise this time differently. Surely you need to rest a bit but, to tell the truth, TV isn’t a good method for gaining more energy. Maybe you could allow only half an hour a day for TV (and occasionally watch a film, say at weekends) and spend the remaining time on some exercises, such as yoga from a YouTube channel.

Exercise is a very effective cure for fatigue.

Way too often we spend our time also on… looking for different things. Try to be organised and dedicate a week or a whole month to de-cluttering your house. Plan what you will do each day to tidy your stuff up. A method by Marie Kondo is very popular and helpful nowadays. Have you heard of it yet?

  • Try to find a place for everything in your home and group things together. Don’t keep coins or hairpins in a lot of different places at home. One type of item = one place at your home.
  • Organising your clothes (including the ones in the laundry and in any other place at home), on the same day works wonders. Put into a bin everything you haven’t used for a few years but think that you “might use it one day’. If you didn’t need something for 4 years, do you really think you will need it now or in the near future?
  • Many of your documents, notes, and other similar things also could go in the bin. Don’t deceive yourself; some of these things you will never use or need again!

Try a meaningless stuff diet and see how well it tastes! ūüėČ

Attention & concentration, blogging, book, books, career, Efektywnosc, goals, grit, learning, motivation, personal development, planning, Productive Mondays, productivity, success, time management, Uncategorized, work-life balance

How to avoid distractions?

A simple distraction such as a notification (often not important at all!) on your mobile means that each time you lose your focus and, according to studies, need 4 to 15 minutes to concentrate and motivate yourself again to keep working effectively on your tasks!

It was found that office workers are distracted every 3 minutes on average!

Data from 2016 indicated that 3 out of 4 employers believe that every day an average employee loses 2 hours of work due to distractions. While you are doing your work, write down all the distractions that happen for a week or two and analyse them. Think what you could do to minimise or avoid them!

We get easily distracted when we are tired. Remember about taking regular breaks, going for a walk and catching some fresh air. Breathe, eat well, drink a lot of water and some green tea. These SIMPLE (but often neglected!) pieces of advice will help you to stay calmer, more focused and more patient.

If you can, and surely sometimes you can, turn your mobile off or change it to airplane mode.

Free stock photo of hands, coffee, iphone, smartphone

One of the greatest pieces of advice, although quite difficult to follow at first, is to get up earlier to avoid distractions: requests, phone calls, noise, notifications, and questions from others! You’d be amazed how much meaningful work can be done in the early morning hours. Don’t get up earlier to catch up with emails or to clean your home! Get up earlier to do something creative, something that’s meaningful for you, something that will give you exceptional results and will bring you closer to achieving your goals. Write, read, work on your business or project, for example. This is a precious time.

If you get up 1 hour earlier every day you will gain 7 extra hours for something that matters to you! How does that sound? Seven quiet precious hours. I had a long period of time when I was able to get up 2 hours earlier than usual. That’s 14 hours a week!¬†Now while in advanced pregnancy I have had to change my schedule because of the need for more sleep.¬†Remember, not every piece of advice will work the same for everyone but I can say that this tip which I read about in What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfastby Laura Vanderkam (available here) made a huge improvement in my life.

Experts advise that to change your habit and make this morning routine easier, ideally, you should get up at the same time every single day. If you allow yourself to sleep longer at weekends, then you’ll feel that it’s more difficult to get up early during weekdays.

If you feel it’s too difficult to do this, maybe try a shorter period of time; for example, 30 mins extra in the morning‚ÄĒthat will also make a difference.¬†Just remember to make sure that you still can sleep 7-8 hours a day.

Some people like to have their Power Hour in the morning so they can feel they’ve achieved something before everyone else gets up. Power Hour means that you dedicate one hour where you put 100% effort into a dedicated project, activity or task. Or it may mean for ¬†some people, for example: 20 mins spent on some creative work, 20 mins of reading and 20 mins of exercising. Check what will work best for you. Knowing that you achieve something early in the morning will make you more satisfied and put you in a more positive mood which will last for hours during the day.

career, Efektywnosc, emails, goals, learning, personal development, planning, Productive Mondays, productivity, success, time management, time usage, Uncategorized, work, work-life balance

7 Worst Email Mistakes Everyone Makes

  1. Replying¬†to emails,a well-known rule: “If it takes you 1-2 minutes, do it right away”.¬†

If you answer all¬†your¬†emails very quickly then before you manage to go through all of them¬†you may sometimes¬†start to get replies to your replies …which you’ve just managed to send…

Some¬†emails just create¬†more emails. It’s like a never-ending story. If something isn’t very clear or you think it may take a few emails being sent back and forth,¬†it’s probably better to make a¬†phone call (during the¬†time when you have a¬†block-phone-calls time planned of course!).

Use the batch processing technique. According to studies, you will be most productive if you check and reply to emails only 3x a day or if you can, even more rarely.

    2. Writing over-long emails.                 

It’s difficult to keep¬†some replies¬†short. It’s a bit like an art and we need to mindfully practise it, but once you decide that you want to write, say, a maximum of 4-5 sentences per email, it will work wonders.

3. Using shortcuts,short forms or abbreviations when they are not needed or not well known.

It may look like we don’t really have time to reply to the¬†email ‚ÄĒ e.g.¬†people in some companies write KR instead of Kind Regards. According to studies, many people feel that such emails look like the sender is lazy¬†or unprofessional.

     4. Bad grammar or spelling.

Research¬†carried out by psychologists from¬†North Carolina State University¬†showed that others, who don’t know us in person, judge us a great deal based on errors in emails. If we send emails with errors, others will perceive us as less intelligent and trustworthy!

¬† ¬† ¬†5. Using”Reply All”too often.

Most office¬†workers are quite busy. Emails are a biggie on¬†the¬†distractions list and yet we are often¬†unnecessarily¬†cc-ed in emails that we don’t need to read. Sometimes we just¬†need a one-word or one-line¬†outcome instead of the whole email trail. Sometimes it may be good to make someone aware of something but people are very BUSY nowadays and many wouldn’t like to receive ping-pong emails… Before you click on “reply to all’ think twice if it’s really needed.

     6. Use your subject line PROPERLY.

If you have a query, don’t put Hi or Just a Quick Question¬†in your subject line…¬† Sometimes it will delay a reply. Sometimes it causes real problems to find an old email quickly. Try to name things as specifically as possible in the email¬†title,¬†e.g. XQZ project – approval needed. Or maybe something like: Issue with payment for employee KR. Feb 2018.

    7. Marking not very important emails as urgent ones!

Oh, I know some people who overuse this so much. It’s not just annoying, it’s kind of painful for¬†the¬†eyes. A receptionist where I worked (I worked there only once every few weeks, by the way) added me to a circular list that was sent to all professionals in the building, in higher and lower positions, and then I started to get some emails from her… sometimes quite a lot of them, all marked as urgent:

  • “There is no milk in the fridge. It will be sorted out in an hour” – marked us urgent!
  • ‚ÄúThere¬†is a problem with the sink¬†in one of the toilets¬†on the first floor!‚Ä̬†– marked as urgent!
  • “Has anyone¬†seen a green pen somewhere¬†in reception? It’s Katie’s! Please let me know if you did”. – also marked as urgent…

I’m busy, I mean¬†BUSY, and I¬†get all these urgent messages. Sometimes there¬†are 10 or so¬†in a day. Oh, sweet Lord,¬†help me! It always interested me: How¬†on earth has no-one told the receptionist yet to stop marking¬†all her emails as urgent!

And a personal request to all bosses all over the world:

It‚Äôs great¬†that you are able and happy to work at¬†11pm¬†and then again at¬†2am and 4am.¬†Fantastic.¬†Congratulations on not needing any¬†sleep but …

  • if you have employees who use work mobiles and don’t switch the sound off just in case of an emergency… or
  • if you know that your employee may skim the emails before getting to the office and get stressed with issues at work before even starting their shift¬†‚Ķ

please have mercy!

Just skimming emails (to¬†see whether there is something super-urgent we should be aware of¬†before¬†entering the office!) can raise blood pressure and heart rate at the same time and it feels like we are working from 5am¬†rather than 8 or¬†9am.¬†It’s so difficult to forget about the distraction especially if we care about our jobs or want to be perceived as reliable workers. Please don’t… Why¬†not leave¬†the emails in¬†the¬†DRAFT folder and click SEND on them first thing in the morning when you start your shift? Surely, most of you don’t start your work with¬†a¬†meeting every single day and if you do you could send the pre-prepared emails minutes before the meeting from your mobile.

Have I missed anything? Please comment if you know of any other email-related sins people make?

career, Efektywnosc, goals, grit, learning, motivation, personal development, planning, Productive Mondays, productivity, success, time management, time usage, Uncategorized, work-life balance

JUST DO IT? WAIT!

action, air, balance

JUST DO IT – the famous phrase from NIKE’s advert has become popular in motivational posts, videos and speeches. Why wait? Stop thinking about it for ages. Stop procrastinating. Just do it! Right? No. Not really. Not always.

Some people tend to dwell too much on prep and planning stages or postpone things too much but taking actions mindlessly just to do something related to their goals is not the smartest move either.

You need to have an action plan; a good, well-thought-out action plan where you write down your goals, particular actions, steps and tasks.

Only 3% of adults actually write their goals down.

This is one of the reasons why over 90% of people fail working on their New Year resolutions by 15th January each year!

There have been a number of studies which indicate that people who write their goals down are 50% more successful in achieving what they plan.

You should always keep the note with your goals with you; for example, in your wallet. Why is it so important? If you keep your goals and action steps in your mind (especially if you have an active lifestyle):

  • you may forget about some of the goals or actions sometimes; an average human being has around 1,500 thoughts per minute – you can’t always ensure that your goals are kept on top of all these thoughts; often there is no energy & time for it
  • you may often feel that there are other more important or urgent things that are written, for example, in your emails
  • you won’t treat your personal goals as seriously as work or college/university-related assignments and projects (a lot of these are given to you in a written form or you are expected to write these things down!)

You need to come up with deadlines so your personal goals matter and are treated as any other, for example work goals. Once you have these important aspects sorted out then yes, take action!

And remember to book some time for reviewing your goals and plans because you will notice quickly what mistakes could be avoided, what works and what doesn’t, and what you can do to improve your working style.

Don’t JUST mindlessly DO IT!

education, Efektywnosc, goals, learning, motivation, personal development, planning, studies, Uncategorized

How to study for exams Рa highly effective technique. 

When we study for an exam, we usually have a few chapters to go through, from either one or more textbooks and perhaps some articles, and learn the material for an exam. It contains¬†important terms, dates, definitions and some facts. You‚Äôve read (or not) some of this material ages¬†ago and surely don’t¬†remember or know¬†many important facts right now.

There is one very effective technique that can help you a lot.

How can you study to learn so much and quickly?

I’ve been using this technique for years and it always work very well for me so hopefully some of you will find it very useful too! ūüėČ

  • (Obviously) You probably don’t have time to re-read the chapters so just skim them, looking for and highlighting the most important information. Many of the most crucial dates and terms will¬†already be¬†in tables or marked in some way by the authors to make them more visible which will¬†simplify this stage a bit. Don‚Äôt highlight¬†all the¬†pages!¬†Just dates, facts, definitions and a few examples!
  • Once you¬†choose what‚Äôs most¬†important go through your book again and make handwritten notes. In a notebook, not your book. Write down the highlighted sentences and terms. Try to be as selective as possible. Each time you go back to the text you should be able to narrow the information down more and more. The important bit here is to re-read some parts of the highlighted text and try to write the most vital things¬†in your own words. Sometimes it may seem impossible to paraphrase¬†something like¬†a difficult term¬†so just copy the¬†authors‚Äô words. It‚Äôs for your own¬†use¬†only anyway but you will need to use¬†your¬†own words during the exam unless you remember some quotes and then can use the exact wording. Make your notes interesting.¬†The brain¬†doesn‚Äôt like boring linear notes so adding some small mind¬†maps¬†and using colours or writing some words with a thicker pen can help with this. Funny or abstract little drawings on¬†the¬†sides? That‚Äôs what will help your brain remember stuff even more.
  • Take a break. Come back after a small meal and a walk or some exercises, andcarefully re-read the text. Read it out loud! Imagine that you are a teacher and try to explain the material to your students (you can speak to plants or books while practising this). It‚Äôs a very effective exercise that will help you to remember things better.
  • The next step is to take an A4 page and, bearing in mind that you have only¬†one¬†page for this task,¬†summarise everything¬†that is most¬†important/worth remembering from the chapter you‚Äôve skimmed and made some notes on. So basically, all the notes from one chapter now need to be narrowed down and summarised further:¬†1 chapter = 1 page. You decide what may be useful during the exams. You won‚Äôt be able to remember EVERYTHING anyway unless you‚Äôve been studying¬†hard all year‚ÄĒeven¬†then you‚Äôll probably forget some facts.¬†Again,¬†make your notes colourful, use arrows, circle and underline¬†the¬†most important things to make things clear and easy to remember. Once this is¬†done,¬†you just need to re-read it the same day and the next day, and if you have time after 5 -7 days too.¬†Read it while trying to understand, and if possible even imagine¬†the¬†meaning, of every single sentence. Turn the page upside down and try to¬†say¬†what you‚Äôve read about, again like you are teaching someone about it.¬†So, the rule is that¬†a¬†summary of every chapter goes on one page. You can write this using very tiny letters, but make sure it‚Äôs handwritten and colourful!
  • A day or ideally two before the exam,¬†try to summarise your chapters even MORE‚ÄĒall¬†summaries of the textbook now go to one¬†two-sided¬†A4 page! So usually you can allow 20-30% of the page to each chapter’s summary, but it really depends on¬†the number¬†of chapters you have. So basically, you end up having one piece of paper with all the most important knowledge that your textbook contains. Again,¬†make it super colourful and attractive – so you actually will want to read it. Make the letters quite small. Re-read this final summary a few times. Remember to take breaks! Keep the longer summaries (1 chapter = 1 page) with you and read them¬†slowly¬†in the morning before the exam, without¬†rushing so as¬†not to get stressed and to avoid doing¬†these final repetitions a bit mindlessly. Then re-read your¬†two-sided¬†final summary with all the chapters on it.

If you follow all the steps, then you are more than ready for your exam!

Good luck!

book, books, career, goals, grit, learning, personal development, planning, Productive Mondays, productivity, success, time management, time usage, work-life balance

THE THREE BIGGEST PRODUCTIVITY MYTHS – Multitasking 1/3

box, business, celebrate

THE MULTITASKING MYTH

Around a decade ago some employers suddenly started to ask during work interviews: Are you able to multitask? Some still do this although many people are already familiar with the most recent studies which indicate that multitasking is impossible in humans and is merely switching from one task to another. On top of that, multitasking decreases productivity by up to 30-40%.

It may sometimes be okay to combine a physical activity with a cognitive one, e.g. listening to an audio book while riding a bike or washing dishes, but many employers got the idea of multitasking completely wrong. Some of them believe that multitasking is needed and can be done in busy office environments where one needs to answer a lot of phone calls, reply to emails and provide face-to-face customer service. No, it can’t.

Research shows that trying to multitask will actually make you slower and also … lower your IQ! Our human brain can focus only on one task at a time and people who try to work this way and avoid multitasking achieve the best results.

Researchers from the University of Sussex in England carried out a study using MRI scans. The findings revealed that people who spend time using multiple devices, for example texting while watching TV, had less brain density in a part of the cortex which is responsible for cognitive and emotional control. Emotional control is a simple term but some of you may wonder what cognitive control means. It basically means that your brain allows you to make decisions based rather on our goals than habits and reactions. It allows you to be flexible and adapt more easily in different situations.

If you are interested to read more about multitasking I’d recommend this book: The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing It All” Gets Nothing Done by Dave Crenshaw (available here).

blogging, career, Efektywnosc, goals, grit, learning, motivation, personal development, planning, Productive Mondays, productivity, success, time management, time usage, work-life balance

Avoid the 3 Biggest Productivity Traps

  1. CATCHING UP

Working more hours often to catch up with the demands at work, or while working on your personal projects, sometimes ends up as a normal working pattern that lasts weeks or months. Working some extra weekends may be a good solution once in a while. It’s really satisfying to feel we are ahead and everything is nicely organised and ready for Monday morning. However, if you do it for a longer period of time, for example a few weeks, your productivity, attention and energy will decrease enormously. According to studies, working approximately 40 hours a week, is ideal in terms of our productivity. Working more than that is a great recipe for burnout, depression and exhaustion! If that’s what you need right now then keep going! … but I’m sure it’s not.

2. EXTRA ACTIVITIES
Many pieces of advice about productivity come down to one thing: try to squeeze in various productive, healthy and personally beneficial activities into your day, whenever you can. I’ve read tonnes of them by now:

  • if you are on a break you can quickly check and reply to your personal emails
  • read and watch news while eating your breakfast
  • listen to audio books while doing gardening/cleaning your house/looking after children
  • write, read and work while you are on a bus or train
  • use an app to learn a foreign language while waiting in a queue

background, chart, coffee

Some of the advice may be really good and useful for you as long as you don’t try to squeeze in too much. Otherwise you will end up:

– without any breaks and time for recharging your batteries

– with no opportunities to do something without using many of your cognitive skills, such as walking without occupying your mind with work and foreign language courses. Even cleaning house or gardening can be great opportunities to let your brain rest a bit from hundreds of emails, tasks and queries related to your work and projects.

If you forget about your needs to rest and disconnect you will feel tired more often and become a lot less productive.

3. LOW IMPACT VS HIGH IMPACT TASKS.
Every work has some more and less important tasks. You are probably familiar with the 20/80 Pareto principle, which believe me actually works! And it’s pretty straightforward. It says that:

20% of your input on tasks and effort translates into 80% of results.

Make a list of tasks that you need to do on a regular basis ‚Äď to make it simple choose a maximum of 10 tasks that you tend to do most often. Then think which 2 tasks from this list give you actually the most meaningful and biggest results.

We often tend to spend a lot of time on things like answering emails and making phone calls ‚Äď and although these things are important, we usually do them way too often. For example, on average most of us check emails every 15 minutes while studies show that to be most effective and productive you should do it only 3x a day if you do an office job. If you can check and reply to your emails only 2-3 x a week, then that’s even better. Of course, your personal email can be checked daily but hopefully you don’t use it as well as a work email.

If you are writing a book your high impact task will be writing and then maybe editing or researching your materials. Plan ahead to do your high-impact tasks when you have most energy, for example, 2-3 hours every morning. Try to do everything to avoid interruptions then. Maybe you can get up earlier, switch your mobile to airplane mode and let others know that this is a very important time for you when you need to work and can deal with their questions and requests later? Whatever you do try not to skip the planning stage which is crucial.

happiness, happy, Happy Wednesdays, learning, motivation, personal development, success, Uncategorized

How much your happiness can be affected by a major event?

When psychologists talk about happiness, they don’t mean a temporary emotion and people who are happy just in a particular moment in their life (although of course ‘being happy’ is also considered as a short-term state of mind). Positive psychology as a science perceives happy people as those who are optimistic and content with their life more in general and in the long term. They use the terms life satisfaction or SWB (subjective well-being) to cover this in their research.

There is a term called the hedonic treadmill in psychology (which I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts) and it basically means that we get used to new things and situations quite quickly and come back to our usual happiness level after big events have happened in our life ‚Äď which are significant in either a positive or negative way. Thus, lottery winners and people who lose a limb in an accident are on average, after around a year, as happy as they used to be before these major events took place! It sounds quite unbelievable but there is a lot of evidence that external factors, situations and events, even if significant, don’t have that large an impact on our well-being as we think they would have.

Happiness can be achieved and enhanced by using the power of your mind and inner abilities! We now know, for example, that a change of habits is possible. Our mind is a lot more powerful than we think it is. We often underestimate what we can achieve just by changing our mindset, setting goals and taking actions; and we overestimate external factors. Maybe because that’s easier? What do you think?

Have a look at my recent video about science & happiness: https://youtu.be/xd0KT9gJask and let me know what do you think about it! Thank you!:)

book, books, goals, grit, learning, motivation, personal development, planning, Productive Mondays, productivity, success, time management

Productive Mondays! Are you a night owl or a morning bird?

food-healthy-morning-cereals.jpg

To tell the truth I’ve always struggled to define myself as either a night owl or a morning bird. Which one are you?

…On a daily basis fully 85% of the people follow an early bird schedule in the morning, but given any choice in the matter, only 22% would continue to do so.” (read more about it¬†here )

Some periods in my life I could say that definitely working and/or studying late evenings or even at night felt most productive to me, and yet on different occasions (depending on my circumstances such as having vs not having children, work shifts etc.) I felt that I kept falling asleep around 9pm-ish but felt so much better in the mornings! Why is that, then? I was curious as to how to find out how my natural biological clock works and if this is even still possible in a world as artificial as the one we have created: we have light at night and technological devices that distract us all the time.

Thomas Edison apparently used to promote his idea of the light bulb a lot by emphasising that future generations won’t sleep much and they will be able to have longer days due to the breakthrough of electric light, and because of this they will be able to achieve more! He wasn’t entirely mistaken BUT… sleeping less than 7-8 hours isn’t part of our human nature and leads to many negative consequences, like bad mood, stress and even to some health conditions… We can control light but it doesn’t do us much good, does it?

On the other hand, when we count how much time we sleep in our BUSY, PRODUCTIVITY-BASED & ACTIVE lifestyles it seems like a huge waste of time and we feel that if we could sleep ‚Äújust a little bit less‚ÄĚ we could accomplish SO MUCH MORE!

I‚Äôve read¬†the¬†book¬†The¬†Power of When (available¬†HERE¬†) and it got me thinking‚Ķ The author suggests that each of us can be one of four (rather than just two)¬†types of people or actually‚Ķ as he prefers to call it ‚Äď type of an animal. It was great to find this book because it sounds so unfair to categorise ALL PEOPLE simply¬†in¬†one out of two categories: early riser or night owl.

It looks like I’m a bear type and I feel most energetic if I can get up when the sun is rising and go to sleep when it’s getting dark outside. It is a bit problematic where I live, in England, because during most of the cold months days are really short and I can’t do everything just within 6-7 hours a day because that’s the only time we get light! So although I may be a bear, I still need to make a choice and decide whether I can feel better and accomplish more when going to bed very late or by getting up very early. I tried both.

According to studies, night owls can often be associated with intelligence and creativity but there are so many more different benefits that you get when you get up in the morning (read more here).

I think the real breakthrough in my thinking about it was a book which I didn’t want to buy because I felt that the title was somewhat silly… What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: How to Achieve More at Work and at Home by Laura Vanderkam. It turned out to be a fantastic and useful book (available HERE ).

51GX9Wl2t0L._AC_US218_

The author convinced me that getting up earlier and¬†not spending my time on¬†ANYTHING¬†I have to do¬†–¬†such as cleaning, working, cooking, etc.¬†–¬†but¬†on the most meaningful tasks¬†and activities¬†which make me happy, are connected to my passions and are important to me, can be a great way of improving my work-life balance and life satisfaction! Lack of tiredness and¬†little or no distractions help me to achieve a lot more in the mornings in terms of completing¬†different tasks related to writing, for example. Yes, that‚Äôs true, it is difficult to get up early‚Ķ but once you start to do it you just need to stick to the routine even at weekends/ your days off and then it becomes so much easier.