Interest.

I’ve mentioned this before but learning new things by reading then applying is one of my all-time favorite past times. I love reading books that have a lesson to be learned and a new way to look at life. There are times when I am constantly reading the same styles of book, ones that promote self-improvement and time management. I get there are people who look at these books and think they are complete folly, but I take the good from them and apply them in my day to day life.

There are plenty of reasons to spend a little time each day invested in self-improvement. First to improve your quality of life, not because you are broken or need improvement but because too many of us fail to see the good we do and the strengths we have. Being honest we are often too critical of our weaknesses, we need to be more kind when we look inward at what we do. Investing a little time into self-improvement can truly make your mental well being better as you are a bit kinder to yourself.

Second would be to learn topics that can help you to be a better friend, primarily a better listener who can respond with better answers and follow up questions. There I said it, often times as friends we are needed as good active listeners who are able to respond with answers that add value to the conversation. These moments when we can add to the conversation will strengthen our friendships and help our friends have someone besides themselves to lean on. Obviously, you don’t want to take over the conversation but add enough value that your friend not only knows you are listening to them but you are invested in learning about their interests too.

You and I both know the list could add up to one hundred different points but that’s not why we’re here. Take a little of your time each day and work on learning a little about self-improvement, take a little more time to appreciate yourself and the good things you do. Be interested in adding to your quality of life and your personal happiness and everything else will follow.

Time.

Daily we decide where to invest our time. Perhaps you spend many hours at work, a few hours at the gym, a bit with friends, working on hobbies, or some time alone. Each of us has a day that is broken up between twenty-four hours, between the hours of sunshine and darkness. We choose where to put ourselves during these hours and who we will invest our time with and the activities we pursue.

Many of us are required to work to cover our day to day expenses or the cost of living. The hours we spend at work are what we choose to make of them, you might have a job that some look down at but it might be the right fit for you. Each of us can be happy at what we do each day, even if it isn’t our life passion we can still show up with a good attitude and a willingness to accomplish our tasks. This makes our hours spent working less of a drag on our personal lives, and us less of a negative well for others to feed off in their own struggles with life. Recognize that a good attitude will bring about better opportunities and better days.

Time spent with other people can make or break our days. We have routines that are built around the lives of others, we might look forward to seeing someone at work, after work, when we get home, or tomorrow at 11 am sharp for brunch. These plans with others can increase our overall life satisfaction and help us to find a better way of living. Lives are better when we have others to support and those who can support us. Friendships allow for happiness, sadness, misunderstandings, and collaborations. Life with others can test us, break us, and build us into better folk who can be better friends when the occasion arises.

Wherever you should decide to spend your time do so wisely. Invest in real opportunities building better experiences for yourself and others. Find yourself being the best friend you can be to others but most of all be a friend to yourself.

Procrastination.

I am a great procrastinator; perhaps you relate. Since I started writing this tonight I have gone out for some food, played with my dog, watched a few clips on the internet and attempted to write. Procrastination has been something I’ve been good at my entire life, I have been great at holding off doing my daily chores, my school work, and many other things. I don’t think I do this out of complete avoidance of accomplishing the tasks at hand, I think I do it because I’m interested in going in so many different directions at once.

We are fortunate to live in a time where there is open access to almost everything. Curious about a current event, sports statistic, video on how to _____? Just google it right? Endless information that is fighting for our attention that divides our abilities to focus on the tasks that need to be done leading to more procrastination, rushed efforts, and often sloppy unfinished tasks. As a procrastinator, I have joked many times that I’ll get my act together, tomorrow.

This mindset hurts no one but myself and can harm the opportunities that come my way in the future. I’ve had to learn that while working on projects I have to remain focused on the task at hand, not multitasking trying to do everything at once. A previous employer once told me that I was good at doing everything and needed to learn how to better manage my time to accomplish everything that was required of me. That hurt, so I started working with a list that has helped me accomplish more, and not waste time doing things that don’t matter.

Finding a way to accomplish your needs to the day with a schedule that fits your daily routine best can be a challenge working through all the fluff we let ourselves get sucked into. Try and find your most productive hours and schedule the tasks that need to be completed the quickest during those hours. During those hours put down your distractions and try and exercise a little self-control until the tasks are completed. Find your rhythm and let your efforts show through the quality of the tasks you complete during this time.

Is being a procrastinator the worst thing? Not at all. Is understanding how procrastination can hurt your opportunities to grow on a personal and professional level a necessary realization? Yes, understanding this can allow you to find a way to best utilize your skillset and focus your energy on the most important tasks and showcase your talent to those who are watching for it.

To those who are prone to procrastination, I say start today.