What should you learn from a child?

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk about self-development, but from a bit different perspective. We all know so many various tips and tricks on becoming a better, healthier, more productive person. We can read books about it, watch videos and despite of knowing all these advices, still there is something missing. Like one piece of the jigsaw puzzle which has been lost a while. You can see the picture without it, but just knowing that it is not there triggers something inside. I personally think, that jigsaw puzzle comparison is very accurate, as in fact most of use have lost a small piece, which is a child’s mindset.

We have replaced it with advanced planning, thinking about the future and basically trying to have everything under control. However, life doesn’t work this way. Such thing does not exist. And even when we seem to have a control over some aspects of our life, this control stands on pillars of sand. It can collapse in the most unexpected moment. We simply can’t predict what is going to happen even in the next minute (you know, this is how most of accidents happen).

But in this world of uncertainty, there is a huge group in every society, who can adapt to new situations pretty quickly and who seems to embrace new things. This group are children.

I am personally lucky mother of 17-months-old boy, who is become more and more interested in everything around here. There is no more: ‘my space’ or ‘my belongings’ in my home. Well, this phrases exist still, but only when my son is asleep. It is such a shame, though, that I am pretty much done too at the time. I had no idea that changing, feeding and chasing this little munchkin could be so exhausting! And, by the way, where children are taking so much energy from? But coming back to our topic: since I’ve had my son, I’ve started wondering, how is it possible that he can learn new thing almost each and every day. And I’ve observed some characteristics, that I am missing. In today’s post I would like to share them with you.

Interest in everything

This is the thing, which I am missing since my later school years. I used to think that I don’t need to learn subjects which I simply find boring. Although, my son is still far before going to school, I see him exploring everything around him. He tries copying everyone around him. All this makes him learn so many things every day.

As we are getting into a certain age, we are less likely to try new things. We prefer to stick to our routine and not to go out of our comfort zone. Having our eyes attached to all the screens around, we are forgetting just to look around and see the beauty of the world. There is no place in our life to stop and wonder for a while, how it is made, what makes it work, etc. But the truth is, that ideas are being reused in different fields and in each of them, they have completely different role to play. Most of inventions are inspired by the nature or other existing things. But how can we get our inspiration, if we don’t even have a time to look for it?

Persistence

The other important thing I can see in my son is persistence. He is trying to get what he wants, till he manages to get it. Same is with the new skills. He taught himself walking without any aids like baby walkers or holding someone’s hand. He kept trying and trying till he managed to walk on his own. It took him a while, he did fall many times, but he managed.

As I can say for myself, even the smallest obstacle or failure stops me from getting into my goal. I am giving up very easily and as a result, I am starting a lot of projects, but there are just a few brought to an end. Having a child’s persistence is a very valuable characteristic.

Not caring about other’s opinion

My son is a kind of child (I thin they all are at some point), when he doesn’t take ‘No’ as an answer. He will try to fight to get what he wants no matter what. Although, it is a bit frustrating for me at some point, I thing it is very useful characteristic too.

As adults, we’ve been taught about so many rules for the society’s members. We have to follow the law and respect older. We need to obey our religion, we have to follow all regulations. All this made us unwilling to fight for what we want. One ‘No’ answer very often make us stop to look for other solution. We are just giving up and forgetting what we even wanted. And of course I am not telling you to stop following all rules or anything like this, but to try to look for some solutions to your problems and other ways to achieve your goals, even if it seems impossible.

And that are three characteristics that I think are very important and we, as we were growing up, have forgotten them. What other people would think about us, have made us not think what we our self will think.

I hope this post was interesting for you. For today I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

How much should I save?

Hi guys,

Today’s post is continuation of previous one where I presented five ways to earn or save some money at your home or doing things, you do any way. Especially, if you are planning to switch from full time job to your own business, no matter what it is, beginnings are usually hard. That’s why it is important that you’ll make your decision about leaving your save income not earlier than you are ready. You might have a hard time figuring out how to market your products or services, you might struggle to get hang on your taxes or just working from home might be harder than it was at work, when you had your boss over your head for the entire time. Why shall you add to this worrying about money? Remember that no matter how well or bad your business is going, you will still have your bills to pay.

So how much is good to save before leaving your job. And the answer isn’t as simple and direct, as some people would like to hear. I would definitely like to. But there are some questions which, in my opinion, everyone who starts their own business should ask themselves, before going on their own (and they are not all possible questions, just all of them I thought of myself and which I’m using to take this decision).

How much am I spending each month?

This is very important question. First of all, it will determine, the minimum amount of money you need to survive. You should include all you house bills, groceries, clothes, debt payments, etc. When you will look at your costs, I would right away divide it into two categories: necessary and unnecessary. Necessary would be all stuff like bills, food, medicines, if you are taking some, clothes, cleaning stuff, etc. Generally everything what you really need. Unnecessary will be all except them. And it doesn’t mean that you have resign out of them, at least not right away. In this category would be your all subscriptions (except these which you would be using for your work, they will be in previous one), all coffees drunk outside and all other costs, you would be able to live without if you had to. If you get some numbers, you can move to the next question.

Can I reduce any costs of the unnecessary category, if I have to?

This one might be hard sometimes, but no one ask you to do so. Just think about this, in case if there will be any unexpected cost, something you didn’t know how to prevent. Or if there would be a tight period in your business. Where could you pull money out to cover it? Or if you’d realised that your business actually needs a bit more time to work for itself, how much longer are you going to be able to stretch your funds?

What is plan B?

You have this great idea for your business, with eyes of your imagination you can see how you are becoming a millionaire within no time. But what if this will not be the case? Of course I wish you that you succeed, but there are many businesses which don’t make it. What are you going to do in case if your one will be the one? Will you have an opportunity to return to your old work? Or you will have to find new job? How long approximately it can take you to do so?

How long do I think I will have to wait for my business to take off?

This question might be hard, especially if you are new in entrepreneurship. But just think what is your first thought. Maybe your business is already running and you just need to scale it? What steps do you need to take and how long the process is going to take? If you are about to start, maybe try and think, how long mentally are you going to take it. You can give some deadline to yourself, and after that start looking for at least part time job to support your actions?

When you’ll get an answer for all for questions, you could try to decide this way: if the answer for last question is one year, multiply your monthly costs by 12 months plus the time of how long do you think getting your plan B into the life might take you. To be even more sure, you could add couple of months as a mistake margin. Or you could just try to cover it by reducing your unnecessary category costs. This is a way of how I am planing to do so. I think this system would keep me calm and give me a lot of time to react, in case if something will go wrong. But remember, this is my way. Maybe for you peace of mind will bring doubling these numbers or even tripling. The only thing I want to ask you to do, make sure to get at least a bit ready. Don’t throw you straight into the deep water, if you don’t have to.

But at the same time remember, that you can start your business as a side hustle after your work. At least on the beginning. It will make you much more tired, but can save you a lot of stress in the future. And as you’ll see that the product or service you have to offer is on demand, you can resign knowing that you are not in a bad situation (but you could try to have some savings any way, even if you are working full time 😉 )

That’s it for today’s post. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

5 ways to earn (or save) some extra money

Hi guys,

Today’s post will elaborate on some 10 ways of earning an extra cash or just making some savings on things, most of us are spending money any way. Habit of saving money and learning money seems a hard task for many of us. including myself. Although, I am not the person who buys a lot of expensive clothes, or clothes at all (mostly, I buy new one when my old ones are damaged), I am not going out as much and I am able to save some small amount after most of the months, there is always something coming out.

At the moment world is in this weird situation, where I don’t thing many of us expected. There have been whole countries locked at their homes, travelling became close to impossible, a lot of people simply lost their source of income, as their company bankrupted or some stuff had to be reduced. And I always repeat, that money isn’t the most important thing in the world, but at the same time you can’t live without it.

As I mentioned on the beginning, my household’s financial never has been very bad and I hope it will stay this way, but I’ve also realised recently that our savings wouldn’t allow us to live comfortably for a longer period of time. My company is closing by the march as well. So, I’ve decided to look for some ways to actually build up our savings and ideally find some other sources of incomes too. I would appreciate, if I would be able to start earning my money from home. This is my most important goal at the moment, because it would give me an opportunity to spend more time with my son. As my company has been closed for last couple of weeks due to some incident, I’ve decided to use my free time to do some research and I came out with some ideas. Some of them, I can’t really recommend from my own experience yet, as it takes a time to see results or I haven’t started yet, but I will tell you as I am describing each of them.

Here are my 10 tips:

Join partner programs in shops where you do your shopping

This is one of the ways, where you can save some money, by doing your regular shopping. I am living in UK and a lot of (if not all) supermarkets, pharmacies or even some coffee shops offer to sign for there program, where usually you are getting a card and keep collecting points for every time you use it in shop. After you collect right amount of them, they are exchange for money, you can use to reduce your next bill in this supermarket.

I’ve always thought, that this is quite pointless, as it takes time to collect enough points to actually get some money. But I’ve decided to give it a go any way and you won’t believe how quickly it adds up. Big grocery shopping here, small snacks for a park trip there and you will not even notice and you’ll have enough points to get some reduce next time you shop. Is it a lot of money? Definitely not, but you are saving it without much effort. I even made a piggy bank, where I am putting all money that have been saved this way and it is still not a huge sum, but always better than nothing. And you will not even notice, how fast these small sums are adding up.

Review your subscriptions

We are living in a world, where we are subscribing to many different websites, portals, etc. I have found these advice in many other blog posts and I thought that this is just no use. If I subscribe to something, I must using it. But as looked closer to my bank outgoing transactions, I found so many subscriptions that I had no even a clue when I signed for them.

But even, if you are sure that you are paying only for what you are truly using, still have a look, as there might be some subscriptions that offer some options for more users. If we take myself as an example, after some time of me and my husband subscribing to netflix, we realised that we can have just one subscription and two users within it. I think, you might be aware of this, but we got to know about this just recently. Again, is it a lot of money? No. But it is still money.

Organise your home

This might seem stupid, but you can’t even imagine how many stuff you don’t need. Starting from some obvious like clothes, but even some kitchen tools, pots or pans. Do you know how many pas I had, which I haven’t taken tags of? And I don’t even remember when did I buy them! Similarly with some decorative elements, which doesn’t fit in our space any more, but still I did hold on to them. They were simply collecting dust somewhere out of the sight, forgotten… But now, many of them found their new home and my savings grew a bit.

Offer you services online

This is a mind blower for me. I already knew that you could become a website developer online, or do some graphic design for people, or even write peoples post. But somehow, it didn’t occur to me that you can offer cooking food for people for money, or baking cakes, sawing, knitting, doing some art work… Almost everything you like doing might be turned into the side income.

I’ve recently met a women, who literally prepares containers with food for some people from her neighbourhood. They give her ingredients and all she needs to do, is to turn them into a tasty meals. But what is even more amazing? She loves cooking, so she basically gets money for her hobby and still she is able to work her full time regular job. isn’t it a win-win situation?

Create an online content

This one has been presented as a last thing, just because you probably can’t count on instant income. I can’t say for myself, as I’ve never considered this blog as a source of income of any kind (and probably I will not turn it into it), but recently I’ve decided to build my own community and hopefully turn my actions on my new blog into a business.

But of course, not only the blog is an option. You could try to become a youtuber, podcaster, Instagram influencer and many many more. However, this one I can’t say for myself yet. I could only ask you for keeping your fingers crossed and let’s hope my plan will work some day.

And this is it for today’s post. I hope you enjoyed it. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

10 ways to motivate yourself

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk to you about some ways to motivate yourself and keep your motivation level throughout your day. Just imagine, being able to get a lot of things done. Each and every day. Seeing your to-do list getting smaller. So today, I am going to share with you some ways, how to stay motivated.

Here are 10 tips:

Keep switching types of your tasks

This is especially useful, if some of your tasks require you to sit in one place for some period of time, while the other need you to move.

Let’s say that in any given day you have to wash the dishes, write a report and do grocery shopping. In your analysis you estimated that writing a report is going to take you 4 hours. So you could start writing it first, after 2 hours take a break to wash the dishes and return to writing after that. As report is done, you can go to do your shopping. In this case, household tasks are becoming a break in your big task which is the report.

It is a lot easier to maintain motivation, if you will keep switching between task, where you sit and these requiring you being active, these outdoor with these indoor ones. This way each task will be sort of break after the previous one you’ve just accomplished.

Make starting your tasks as easy as you can

This one has changed my day a lot. If you are anything like me, you know (even better than you should) this feeling, when you feel so ready to take this run which you have planed the day before. You get out of bed, have a glass of water, light breakfast and of you go! Well, almost. Where are your running clothes? Ok, it will take just a while to find them in your wardrobe. Ok, now you are ready, you can go. Where did you leave your shoes last time? Quick search and you got them on your feet. This time, for sure you are ready, aren’t you? But it would be nice to have something to listen to. But what? You are creating running playlist very quick and when you are checking the time you realise that you wasted two hours already and you should have started writing this report for work an hour ago.

You decide that you are going to skip running today and go tomorrow instead. Now you really need to do your report. But where are your notes you’ve taken during the last meeting?

You know the circle. Before you even start, you will realise that you should be already working on next task and this way nothing really gets done.

Getting everything ready in place beforehand, will make you more likely to actually work as soon as you’ll ‘force’ yourself to 😉 And this is how you are being productive instead of just being busy.

Remove distractions

This one you can probably see in each and every article or blog post about productivity. Well, probably for some reason. Getting distracted during your work, has similar result to the one from previous point.

Let’s imagine following situation. You planned to write your report. You made your tea, all your notes are waiting on your desk, so is your computer with text editor opened on the screen. Happy to start, you are sitting in front of the screen, you almost typed your title when… “ding!” – you just got notified on your phone that your sister updated her status on her social media profile. You are checking it. It will take maximum two minutes. She posted that some movie she has just seen, was amazing. Yeah, you wanted to see this movie. Ok, you’ll book tickets after your report. Well, but what if you’ll forget. Better to do this now, and work on your report right after. You go on cinema’s website, choose movie, time and place, pay and it is done. “Ding!” quick look and it is just message confirming your reservation. But wait, there is another message from your friend. Maybe something happened? It will be wise to actually check it. Uff, she is just asking how are you. Yeah, but you opened it, better to answer, otherwise you’ll forget and she’ll be upset. ‘I am ok. Just writing report for work. And you?’ You put your phone on desk, start typing your report. Ok, title page is done. “Ding!” Your friend just answered. She is fine too and would like to go for a walk with you this evening. You answer that it is ok, just when you finish your report, shouldn’t be late. You check the time and you realise that you just wasted half an hour. Better leave it today, and get ready for a walk. You’ll write your report when you’ll be back or even tomorrow. It doesn’t go well any way.

I think all of us have been there. It is not a secret that we spend much more time looking at our smartphones screens. We subconsciously are only waiting for this “Ding!” sound whatever we are doing. And don’t get me wrong, I am exactly the same. But since some time I’ve just decided, that when I intend to do some job, I swith off all sounds in my phone (vibration too) and put my phone out of my sight. And I am sorting all ‘important’ notification right after my task is done. This way, my task actually are getting done 😉

Have a vision board

This is kind of tricky, because as a first step you have to actually make one 😉 Just another task to complete. Ok, but before we start – what vision board is? It is a board, piece of paper or even file with your goals visualised. You can print pictures of your dreamed home, piles of money, exotic places or just smiling face of your child being happy after receiving his dreamed gift. Whatever the reason why you continue doing what you are doing, will work. And now, each time when your brain is trying to think about everything but your task, have a quick look at all this reason and go back to work. Just make sure that it will not become another distraction!

Plan realistically

Here is another one worth it to be mentioned. Having huge to do list full of tasks would probably make you feel proud, but only if you tick at least most of these boxes. If you you accomplish just few of thousands, it will just feel like a tear in a sea.

Just for your mental health, make sure that amount of tasks is equivalent to time you have. Otherwise you’ll be constantly disappointed with yourself and all your motivation will disappear as soon as it came (or maybe quicker, as you probably read this post because of lack of motivation).

Remember though, that if you’ll put less on your to do list, there will be still space on your list. If you’ll accomplish all of your tasks before next morning 😉 you can always add a couple more. After all, it is better to do extra, than not do enough.

Have regular breaks

This is something you’ve probably heard millions of time, too. But here is the truth, we are not robots, we can’t just connect ourself to charger and we’ll be fine. We actually need some rest. Sleep, walk, meet people and eat. Simple as that. Not taking breaks might work for couple of days. If you are super human, maybe couple of weeks. But eventually, you are going to burn out.

So whenever you feel tired (but tired, not feeling like watching an episode of your favourite serial), take break, have a lunch or dinner with your friends, visit your grandma. Anything! Just forget about work for a while and relax.

Look at your obstacles as if they were an exam

Before I’ll explain, let’s establish something. In our life we have tasks and TASKS. Some of them are as easy as washing the dishes, where there are just two cups in the sink, but the other seem impossible to even start. And even if you will start you will soon realise, that you have no idea how to move forward with this thing. You are in very dead point where nothing seem to work.

And I am not talking now about overfilling chairs with clothes to iron in my spare room, because last three days were a laundry days after my washing machine arrived finally 😉 this is thrilling, but you can do this. I am talking here about this project, which doesn’t want to give right results, this exam where you study honestly focused, but can’t understand even a small bit, this app which keeps crushing every time you want to compile it.

These kind of TASKS are the ONLY, when you can intentionally procrastinate. Just step back, work on anything else, take a break and don’t come back to it until the very next day. Remember, that hard things are your life exams. How do you deal with them, are you going to give up? This is what matters and this will determine, if you will succeed or not.

So try and push through hard things. Wait for some inspiration, if you need to or even ask for help. It’s not a shame to ask. This task might be your final exam. You will get an A by solving your problem and your dreams will become the truth, or you’ll see F by just giving up. It is your choice of course, but I think first option is more attractive.

Keep your environment clean

Did you hear the stories about students who clean the entire home like never before during exam period? Well, there is something right about this. When we have some task, which seems hard for us, we tend to look for anything easier to do. This way we still are ‘productive’, but we don’t really get important things done.

Keeping your environment relatively clean (it doesn’t have to be a sterile place) will reduce this kind of distraction. It will be harder for your brain to find an excuse not to focus on your task and as a result, you’ll be more likely to at lest make some progress in your work.

Schedule your time, not tasks

This isn’t always possible. I’ve started testing it before I had my son. And I’ve worked in this system for about two weeks. But let me explain the idea. Instead of having tasks like: finish my project you would have something like I’ll work on my project for one hour. You could also time when exactly you are going to start particular task. This way, no matter how far you did get while working, you are stopping your work as soon as your alarm starts ringing.

It worked quite well. However, I am aware this method isn’t for every one. As I mentioned, I stopped using it when my son was born, as I am not able to predict how long he is going to sleep each day. And there are some tasks I simply can’t work on, while looking after him. It probably wouldn’t work, if you have tons of deadlines the very next day. But if you are able, try this way. It has a great potential.

Make habit of getting your stuff done

This last one will not be helpful right away, as it requires a lot of time to establish. But if you will create a habits of working, if you will let accomplishing your tasks become part of your routine, you will not have to struggle each time to get yourself into doing something. It will be as natural as having your coffee or other beverage in the morning.

That’s all tips I have to share with you today. I am constantly testing new solutions so I might write continuation of this post in the future. I hope you’ll find my tips useful. If you have any other advises, feel free to share it in the comment section below.

For now I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria