Sleep Easy: A guide to getting a good night's sleep
Is a good night’s sleep of 7-8 hours something you dream about? Do you stay up till all hours of the night, then find yourself finally drifting off at 3am, only for the alarm to go off like Bow Bells at 6am? Well rest easy, here’s my guide to getting a good night’s sleep without the use of medication. In this blog you will learn what sleep your body needs, the symptoms of sleep deprivation, some science behind it and a guide to creating the perfect night’s sleep.
As we all know a good night’s sleep is a great investment in ourselves and those around us, and should be made a top priority. The quality of our sleep can have a direct impact on our physical and mental wellbeing and productivity. The stresses and demands on our modern day life, it’s no surprise that our sleep is suffering. We eat later and find little time for exercise. Our living environments have changed and are far less conducive to a good night’s sleep than we would like. We now spend up to 90% of our time indoors, during the autumn and winter months, under false lighting, which again is not favourable for peaceful slumber at night.
The hours of sleep our body need
As we get older our sleep pattern changes. A baby spends 16-20 hours asleep throughout the 24 hours. As we get older the need for sleep declines. Children need between 11-12 hours. Teens will need around 9 hours of sleep a night and adults around 7-8 hours. The elderly probably need the same amount of sleep as any other adult but may be broken down in more than one block of sleep. Elderly people’s sleep patterns can become more disturbed due to certain medical issues, such as arthritis, thyroids, diabetes, heart problems, and respiratory disorders such as sleep apnoea.
Sleep deprivation or sleep disorders can play havoc with our mental wellbeing, physical and mental performance, mood, behaviours, diet, cognitive skills, as well as a whole host of chronic health problems. Shift workers often suffer with ‘Shift work sleep disorder’. This is a condition that happens to shift workers and occurs when we receive too little sleep at the wrong time of day. This interferes with our 24hour body clock (circadian rhythm). A detailed study (2012) into Night Shift workers sleep disorder by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, discovered that there are indications that ‘the decrease in insulin production during the disrupted sleep led to inadequate blood sugar control, which could account for the increased risk of diabetes’.
Symptoms when sleep deprived
When you’re not receiving a regular 7-8 hours and are sleep deprived you can often feel;
o unrefreshed after sleep
o continually drowsy during the day
o lethargic, sluggish and demotivated
o unable to concentrate
o irritable and bad tempered
o heightened stress and anxiety
o Depressed, and feelings of low self-esteem and confidence
o difficulty with personal and family relationships
Thankfully for most of us this is only a short term problem and soon passes, usually after we’ve been under short term stress (transient insomnia). For those of you that do suffer more long term, over a month with at least three nights a week of disturbed sleep (Chronic Insomnia), it’s definitely no picnic in the park. If this sounds like you and you’ve tried all the self-help advice then you should really seek professional medical advice.
The Science of sleep
One of the hormones responsible for our bodies daily cycle and sleep is Melatonin. It’s very light sensitive. So when light levels reduce (night time) the melatonin gets released into our bloodstream from the pineal gland in our brains and sends us off to sleep.
In a normal night’s sleep there are 4 stages in the sleep cycle: Non-REM stage 1, 2, 3, and stage 4 the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. These stages progress in a cycle. It is thought that a complete sleep cycle takes an average of between 90 to 110 minutes, with each stage lasting between 5 to 15 minutes. The deep REM sleep usually occurs 90 minutes after falling asleep and is when the sleep works on learning and memory. The first sleep cycles each night have relatively short REM sleeps and long periods of deep sleep but later in the night, REM periods lengthen and deep sleep time decreases. Stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol reduce your REM sleep.
Test for sleep deprivation
If you’re not sure and want to check if you’re sleep deprived in any way, then there’s a very simple test you can do. It’s called ‘The sleep onset latency test’. I first learned about this through the BBC, when scientist, journalist and TV broadcaster Doctor Michael Mosley, discussed sleep on ‘Trust me I’m a Doctor’ series, and here’s what he says you need to do;
1. Lie down in sleeping position in a quiet, darkened room in the early afternoon, and hold a spoon over the edge of your bed.
2. Put a metal tray on the floor underneath the hovering spoon, check the time and close your eyes. When you fall asleep, the spoon will drop from your fingers and hit the tray to wake you up. Then, check the time to see how long it takes you to fall asleep. If you fall asleep within five minutes of closing your eyes, you’re severely sleep deprived. If it takes you ten minutes, this is ‘of concern’. Anything more than 15 minutes, he says, is fine.
So if you have done the test and find that you are probably sleep deprived then here’s my guide to getting a good night’s sleep. Note: Many of the step trackers have an option to measure your sleep patterns and heart rates during the night. This can give you a more detailed view of the quality of your sleep.
The perfect sleep environment
Surprisingly the environment is not always the first consideration for many that suffer long term sleep deprivation or disruptive sleep patterns, and yet this is a key factor in getting a good night’s sleep. When we consider our sleep environment, how it looks visually is not the only consideration we should have. We should also think about room temperature, colour, distractions, noise, lighting and smells.
De-clutter your bedroom – make it an environment that oozes relaxation and restfulness, and more of a sanctuary than a storage area. See my tips on de-cluttering and finding your authentic wardrobe, also de-cluttering and finding your authentic bookshelf if you have a bookshelf installed in your bedroom.
Paint in calm and restfulness – A restful, calming colour scheme such as neutral and pastel shades work well. The National Sleep Foundation recommend light blue as the optimal colour scheme, as the photoreceptors in the retina (ganglion cells) are most sensitive to blue. The receptors relay information to the part of the brain responsible for the circadian rhythm (body clock). The National Sleep Foundation say the brain recognises blue as a calming and relaxing colour, this reduces your blood pressure and heart rate, which is essential for a good night’s sleep.
Set the temperature to just right – The UK’s Sleep Council recommend that the room temperature for a perfect night’s sleep should be between 16-17°C, that’s 61-62°F. If you’re not sure of the temperature use a thermostat in your room. If too cool eliminate any drafts and bring the temperature up. If it’s too hot cool your bedroom down by using a fan, preferably noise and turbulence reduced fans to minimise drafts. Alternatively, open a window and ventilate the room as much as possible. For really hot evenings sleep above the covers or just a very light cotton sheet over you.
Invest in a really good mattress – If you’re serious about getting a good night’s sleep then this is a must. Now there are gazillions of different mattresses, so do your research and find the best one for your particular needs. A good mattress is a little pricey, around £300-£400 ($400-$500 US dollars) and upwards, but in my experience you can’t put a price on a good mattress. I encourage you if you can to try before you buy and put the same thought into your pillows and bedding at the same time.
Lights out! – Ideally switch the lights off. Keep them very low prior to preparing for sleep. Remember Melatonin is light sensitive, so the more light you have in your room, the less likely you are able to fall sleep. If you can afford it, invest in good quality curtains that don’t let any light pass through them or purchase a good eye mask. Nick Littlehales, a sleep expert for top athletes, including the British Cycling Team, says complete darkness is a fundamental factor for sleeping well.
Reduce the noise – As you sleep your brain continues to register noise, causing you to wake. If it’s noisy outside or you’re a light sleeper try using earplugs, fairly malleable ones, so that as you turn in bed while sleeping they don’t dig in and wake you.
Turn off those distractive gadgets! – Gadgets are a huge distraction to our sleep cycle. So wherever possible ban bedroom phones, tablets, computers and anything else that’s likely to go ping in the night! The only exception to this rule is gadgets that’s primary function is to aid sleep. The same goes for the TV. Ideally remove the TV from the bedroom. There’s mounting evidence that suggests that even when your TV is in standby mode, that this interferes with our circadian rhythm. So turn off the TV an hour before you sleep, and if it’s in the bedroom cover-up the standby light before sleeping.
Aroma – While planning the perfect sleep environment don’t forget to enhance the sleep experience through the aroma of your room. Research has evidenced that the scent of lavender reduces the heart rate and blood pressure. If lavender’s not for you, other scents that reduce stress and anxiety include; geranium, chamomile, bergamot, lemongrass, jasmine, orange or neroli, ylang ylang and marjoram. Try to rotate scents every two weeks.
There are many conflicting views on whether to adopt a routine as part of your sleep preparation or not. Some people swear by having a warm bath, milky drink and then read a book for 30 minutes. Others that have trouble sleeping say that having a ritual around sleep preparation can actually fuel anxiety. So I would try both and see what works well for you!
Your sleep mindset / state of mind
Anxiety and stress
Avoid going to bed while you feel anxious, stressed or angry, our mood and sleep are connected according to findings by the Harvard Medical School’s (2008). They say research indicates that stress and anxiety increase the body to be aroused, awake, and alert.
So a good tip is to write a journal to detail all your worries, concerns, and things to deal with should you find yourself thinking about work or home or just things on your mind. Then deal with them in the day. Make bathtime an event not a chore, using essential oils and low lighting with calm relaxing music in the background. Mindfulness and mediation are another great way to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
A tension, anxiety and stress reducing exercise
To minimise feelings of hightened stress try really tensing your arms, fingers and toes as tight as you can and hold it for between 5-10 seconds, then quickly release. Do this about 5 or 6 times, which should reduce any immediate tension you are feeling. To reduce stress, anxiety and anger I encourage you to also try Earthing. This is the simple act of walking barefoot on the earth.
This is a new alternative thinking. Living in the present, focusing objectively and non-judgementally on your breathing and acknowledging the slow rise of your chest and the exhale sensation of air passing through your nose. This allows you to relax the mind, reduce stress and bring you back to a calm state of tranquillity. You might want to look into subscribing to the many apps on mindfulness that are available. Always check the ratings, details and reviews before installing.
Prior to sleep relaxes and calms any anxiety you might be feeling from the day. There are many online guided sleep meditations, just find one that suits you. Make sure you don’t get disturbed. Draw your curtains or blinds. Sit still and comfortable in a relaxed position for about 30 minutes, listening to soothing music before you intend to sleep. Again there are many apps available. Always check the ratings, details and reviews before installing.
Foods that aid sleep
Eating before bedtime – Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that induces feelings of calm and relaxation, making you feel drowsy before going to bed. Foods that are high in Serotonin include; any dairy product (cheese, yoghurt, milk), proteins salmon, nuts and tofu, also some carbohydrates such as cereals. Fruits such as Kiwi, pineapple, banana, plums, red grapes and tomatoes are a good source of serotonin, as well as dark chocolate.
Full stomach or empty before bed?
The old wives tale of never going to bed on an empty stomach, is good advice. The same can be said for never going to bed on a full stomach. Leave about two hours before going to bed after an evening meal. If our stomachs are too empty studies show our brains stay alert, which will reduce the ability to sleep. If they are too full, this can lead to uncomfortable heartburn and bloating. The Serotonin rich foods detailed above should be only consumed late at night if you’re hungry before going to bed, as the effects lessen when competing with other acids in the bloodstream from earlier meals.
Liquids before bedtime– Experts say that if you want to avoid waking up to visit the bathroom, water shouldn’t be consumed any later than 90 minutes before bedtime. Milky drinks are a good idea as the milk has enzymes that produce Serotonin and Melatonin. Caffeine is a stimulant which excites the central nervous system, this raises your blood pressure, wakes up the nerves and triggers the brain to be highly active. So avoid tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and energy drinks at least 8 hours before going to sleep. Try peppermint or chamomile tea instead, but not alcohol. Studies show that Alcohol and sleep are bad bed partners, as it reduces Rapid Eye Movement (REM).
So you have now learnt a little more about your sleep, found out if you’re sleep deprived, how to prepare for a good night’s sleep and what to eat and when, so all there is left to wish you a goodnight’s sleep.
I would love to hear your feedback on this blog. Perhaps you have some experience yourself on sleeping problems or tips that you’d like to share with me. Please like and retweet this article on Twitter @AsterlifeC
If you want to discover your star potential and think I may be able to help you, then please call me 07752565740.
Are You Ready for a Complimentary Coaching Consultation?
See how coaching can benefit you!
Recipe for Plum Jam
I said in my last blog that I would give you the recipe for apricot jam, but on reflection and given the abundance of plums this time of year, I thought I would change the recipe. At this time of year in London plums are prolific, and are starting to ripen the further north of Britain you go. I know that there is nothing to offer by way of health benefits, but as my gran also said, “a little of what you fancy never did harm”. This sticky sweet treat is naturally rich in pectin, which makes the setting time quicker than those fruits lower in pectin. Pectin is the setting agent you need to make the jam firm. So it’s a great jam for any of you jam making novices out there. If you have them available I highly recommend you use Victoria plums, as the taste is a cut above other plums. If not, just make sure whatever plum you use for this recipe the skin and flesh is soft before you add the sugar to the jam making process.
You will need;
Large stainless steel pan (preserving pan)
Long wooden spoon
Protective glasses (sometimes spits at point of boiling – safety first!)
Large measuring jug (can supplement with any pouring vessel – must be clean)
7 (350g jars) cleaned and sterilised jars and lids (warm in the oven for about 10 minutes before filling with the jam)
1.5kg (3½ lb) plums
1.25kg (2¾ lb) granulated sugar (substitute with Xylitol – seek advice from GP for diabetes. Halve quantity to sugar)
300ml of water
Halve and stone the plums with the serrated knife on the chopping board. Then quarter each half of plum. Put the plums and water into the preserving pan. Add to a gentle heat until the fruit softens. Then bring to a simmer, this takes 15-20 minutes, make sure the fruit is quite soft. Add the sugar to the fruit and water and stir with the wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Then turn up the heat and bring to the boil until the setting point is reached.
You’ll know when setting point is reached by dipping a clean spoon into the pan of jam, lift it out and turn the spoon over a couple of times, then let the jam drip down from it. If the jam drops run together then setting point has been reached.
Remove from the heat. Then carefully pour into the large pouring jug. Only fill the pouring jug halfway, as it tends to drip down the side of the jug if you fill up to the top, and can make a bit of a mess when pouring into the warmed jars.
Screw on the lids firmly once the jars are filled. Best to do this with a tea towel as the jars can get quite warm once the jams been poured into them.
As the jam cools in the jars you may hear the lids popping, this is perfectly fine. Once cooled label the jams so you don’t forget what jam you’ve made. The jam will keep for around 8 months, although I’ve kept mine for longer and it still tasted great.
Recipe for Basil Pesto: a great source of Vitamin K
Health benefits to earthing
Many people, including gardeners and allotment people report that working with the earth and walking about barefoot often allows them to experience the following:
· An elevated sense of calm
· Greater levels of energy
· A reduction in stress and anxiety
· A better night’s sleep
- The immune response
- Wound healing
- Prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases
- Enhanced biological rhythms
- Improved blood flow and blood pressure
- Improve menstrual and female hormone symptoms
- Stronger feet and ankles
- Supports adrenal health
- Relieves muscle tension and headaches
How do I reconnect with my earthing roots?
Ideally walking barefoot for a few minutes of your day in simple terms! However, this is not always possible. In the UK and the United States, we are reported to spend between 90-92% of our time indoors and a lot of the time it isn’t practical or safe to take your shoes off on the school run or on the way to work and we don’t all have back gardens so I have included other possibilities below.
Spend 15-30 minutes a day on the following activities;
- Walking barefoot on the earth, grass, sand or concrete (the ideal)
- Lay on the ground or rest your hands on the earth
- Touching an unpainted piece of metal - if you feel a slight jolt that’s the sensation of excess positive charge leaving your body, if no shock then you are already balanced.
- Earthing mats – NB: you can just as easily hold a doorknob or piece of metal, it will do the same job for far less cash.
So now you have an idea of what earthing is, some of the science behind it, what the health benefits are and how you can earth yourselves whether you are indoors or out.
Time Management: 15 strategies to help you manage your time better
Time, wouldn’t it be nice if we could purchase more of it! Unfortunately for many, having spare time just seems like a distant daydream. How many times do you hear yourself saying “Where did all the time go?” If this sounds like you and you really can’t account for where the hours go to in your day, then help is at hand. Read this article and find 15 strategies for study, work and home, which will help you to claim back some of those valuable hours, and free you up to enjoy more pleasurable pursuits or achieving more throughout your day.
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to achieve so much more than you and yet they have the same 24 hours in the day? Have you ever asked yourself how they manage this? Well it’s all down to good time-management. The good news is that there are many life benefits to using time management techniques, and by employing a few simple time management strategies, you can streamline your day and function more effectively.
Like most things associated with achievement it’s all about consciously planning and organising days and weeks ahead. Not simply saying what you’ll do, but actively scheduling the time you spend on particular activities, the time you will start, the time you’ll end and deciding what you need to achieve in that time. Then sticking to it!
Many of your hours are lost on general distractions. Television, video games, phones, social media, emails and even other people can be sources of our biggest distractions. A wasted minute here and an hour there really can burn into our day.
1. Remove distractions - mute your mobile tech, turn off the TV, and mark your status calendar as busy! Start planning! Be realistic about what you can achieve and the time tasks will take. Tell your family, friends or colleagues you can't be disturbed for a set period of time and be strict if you get disturbed and tell them to come back later (unless it's an emergency!)
2. Don’t overstretch yourself – Underestimating the length of time a task can take is the greatest drainer of time. It’s far better to overestimate the time it takes to do something. This will allow for greater flexibility and factors in the chaotic and the unexpected moments in life.
3. Prioritise the most important tasks – Identify and complete the most important tasks first. Be aware that time can run away very quickly when you’re in a state of flow. The state of flow occurs when you are utterly immersed in what you are doing. So keep an eye on the time, be aware of the time you have left and avoid getting dragged down by the unimportant details.
4. Learn to say NO! – It’s all very nice to say yes and be kind and put others first, but not to the detriment of yourself and your needs and priorities. By keeping your diary or calendar up to date you can see what spaces you have making it easier for you to justify a no!
5. Get a good night’s sleep - The NHS reported in 2015 that a lack of sleep not only leads to fatigue, and poor mental wellbeing which reduces productivity, but also physical ill health. It is recommended that we get between 7-8 hours’ sleep a night to remain well and productive.
6. Stop multi-tasking – Newsflash! Neuroscience has identified that our ability to do multitasking is a myth. Multitasking actually causes us to make more mistakes and takes away valuable seconds of our time. Don't think you can read and take in important points whilst you are half listening to the TV, you can't!
7. Reward yourself – When you’ve achieved what you set out to do, reward yourself in some small way that brings you joy and sense of achievement. The bigger the achievement the greater the reward you give yourself. Psychologically this allows you to acknowledge that you’ve achieved what you set out to do, motivates you to take on bigger challenges and helps build confidence and self-esteem. The reward may only be to allow yourself to watch an episode of your favourite series after you have finished the task but it works as a motivator to get something done if you can be strict with yourself!
If you’re studying
8. Calendar management – Detail all your commitments throughout the day either on your phone, in a diary or on a wall chart. Somewhere you’ll regularly look at it. This will enable you to have a realistic view of what you can or can’t achieve in the time you have. Consult your calendar before agreeing to any new commitments. Add reminders to each event you place in it. This may seem a bit tedious at first, but the payoff is well worth it.
9. Identify important academic dates – As soon as you have your assignment brief or dates for an exam, create blocks of study on your calendar. Prioritise and schedule your time for revising and exams, sourcing research material, reading, assignment writing and submitting your work. Never leave things to the last minute, especially when submitting your work. It’s not unheard of that computers crash when experiencing heavy volumes of traffic.
10. Find a silent study area – the best place to find this is in your academic library. Most areas are manned by librarians who ensure that the area remains silent at all times. This gives you the opportunity to concentrate on the task in hand without any distractions.
11. Select time for reading emails – There are several opinions as to how many times you should check your emails during the day and still remain productive. However, all agree that this should not be done on a minute by minute basis, as this distracts you from more important tasks and decreases productivity. I would advise that you choose to select once, three or five times a day, whatever you’re most comfortable with.
12. Set deadlines – You will need to be strict with yourself and completely committed to meeting the task in the time you set yourself. Be prepared to say “that’s it for today” when the time is about to expire. Then move to the next task. This way you’ll keep on track and meet all your commitments.
13. Delegate responsibilities – Have the courage to ask for help in your team when you need it. Chances are they’ll appreciate that you trust them enough to carry out the task. Ensure you match the responsibility to the authority. Clearly outline the task, explaining any constraints and boundaries, what they need to achieve, by when and whom they need to inform as part of the communication cycle.
14. Plan and Cook Ahead – If you want to avoid eating unhealthy meals on the go when time is limited, consider cooking in bulk. Meal planning might not feel like a very spontaneous way of eating but a bit of fore planning saves a lot of time in the long run.
Set aside an hour the day before you go shopping to plan your meals for the week or the next few days depending on how often you shop for. By knowing what you are eating will know you know what you are buying when you get there and will save time in the supermarket and also stop those moments when you stop to think 'What's for tea tonight?' When cooking from scratch think about making twice the quantity so you can freeze half of it leaving you a meal that just needs reheating. This works well with things like bolognaise, curry, chillis, stews and casseroles as well as more fiddly dishes such as lasagne- make two not one at a time! Just remember to keep your store cupboard stocked up with rice and pasta to go with your frozen dishes! Having a freezer full of food also stops you eating junk or ordering takeaways!
15. Get help! – If you can afford it why not consider hiring someone to do some of the household chores, a cleaner or someone to do the ironing or garden doesn't work out terribly pricey and it frees up some time. Consider getting your partner or children to help out. Small children can be responsible for tidying their toys from a very young age and gets them into good habits for the future! Teenagers are certainly capable of pushing a hoover about or hanging out washing! Don't feel you have to do it all.
You now have 15 key time management strategies to make the most of your time in your activities at work, home and when studying. So all you need to do now is start embedding them into your everyday life. Good luck!
I would love to hear your feedback on this blog. Perhaps you have some great Time Management tips that you’d like to share with me. Please like and retweet this article on Twitter @AsterlifeC
If you want to discover your star potential and think I may be able to help you, then please call me 07752565740
Procrastination: Identify and Resolve
If this sounds like you, then please read on. This week’s blog will be discussing procrastination and its real meaning. The pros and cons and science behind procrastination, the reasons we do it, along with solutions to resolving it.
We could also suppose that this term presumes that we will use this postponement time to action something in between, whether that be through thought or deed, in order to progress from the current situation. So procrastination when viewed in these terms would actually be considered wise, beneficial and appropriate, and not something to be avoided.
However, this is not the term I refer to when I write about procrastination. No, the term procrastination I refer to is more derogatory, a none-favourable attribute. This term is best described in the Oxford English Dictionary, and that is “often with the sense of deferring though indecision, when early action would have been preferable," or as "deferring an action, especially without good reason." The American Heritage Dictionary offers the term as “To keep delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring. Other dictionaries mention, laziness, slowness, etc. When procrastination is mirrored in these terms it can become a source of anxiety and distress in your life but also detrimental to your effectiveness and reputation.
The science behind procrastination has identified that this trait is a uniquely human characteristic and something we all do from time to time. According to Timothy A. Pychyl, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Carleton University, in Ottawa, procrastination is a battle between the hugely influential Limbic System, which is where our internal warning system, emotions, instincts and memories are formed, and the pre-frontal cortex. This is the weaker, but more action driven area of the brain, which allows you to make decisions. According to Pychyl, when our brains are not consciously engaged, the Limbic System takes over and gives in to whatever makes us feel good, or something we’d prefer to do in its place.
4 Reasons why we Procrastinate
When too many other things take priority, it can feel overwhelming, but it’s often due to lack of structure, and organisation. We say yes when really we should be saying no sometimes. Be realistic on what you can and can’t do, but in order to do this you need to know what you’re already committed to doing.
The resolution: Get organised!
· Use calendars – on your phone or pc calendar pre-set alerts and share them with the appropriate people.
· A daily list of to do’s, with dates and times for focusing on the task. Detail the time you have to spend on it. Prioritise, then stick to it!
· Avoid over-exaggerating what you can do. Only list what you definitely can achieve, not what you’d like to achieve. This will allow for greater flexibility, and helps to avoid the disappointment of failure to complete tasks. The purpose is to build your confidence.
· Be assertive - say no to others requests when your schedule is getting full.
2/ Unpleasant / boring tasks
Many jobs have unpleasant or boring aspects to them; responding to emails, housework, essay writing etc. The trick is getting it over and done with as soon as possible or distracting yourself while doing the task.
· Consciously put time by and just do it! One hit! A bit like ripping off a plaster
· If a task is particularly unpleasant to you then break it down into bitesize segments that are more palatable to you.
· If a friend has the time to help, and it’s appropriate, pull them in too. Being around friends can make any task more fun and agreeable.
· Think about the end result and what you’ve achieved by doing it.
· Use the time productively, think of other things while you’re doing mundane tasks
· Housework - turn on your music and have a dance and sing along.
· Reward yourself in some small way for completing the task.
3/ Stepping out of our comfort zone and fear of failure
Fear is an emotional response to a particular situation. Break it down! Ask yourself what exactly is the fear you’re feeling? Is it rational? Have you any evidence of anything similar going wrong before? If you have, what have you learnt from that situation that could bring more positive outcomes? Our minds like to play tricks on us, and things are rarely as bad as we imagine they’ll be. Remember fear is an illusion when life is not under threat. Fear limits you from discovering your potential.
· Identify what the actual fear is and then look for ways of combatting it
· If you’re not sure how to do something, find out who have done this before and ask them for tips and advice. This is also a great way of making new contacts and friends.
· Watch instructional videos and find techniques that help you.
4/ Thrill seeking
The thrill of completing a task so close to a deadline is a bit of an adrenaline rush for some, and the reward is delivering the goods at the critical time. If you arrive just on time to a train station when you’re with a group, you may not see the point of arriving earlier. However, you may want to consider how other individuals, who are not thrill seekers, react and feel when they are waiting on you to deliver or arrive. This can often be a source of great stress and anxiety for them.
· Take others emotions into consideration. Agree a time and date that you’ll deliver the goods
· Turn up 10 minutes earlier than you would normally do. This will give others more confidence in you and help to relax those around you. This will probably increase your reputation with your peers as being a trustworthy and reliable individual.
Now that you know what the term procrastination truly means, why we do it and what we can do to resolve it, you can now make decisions to decide even if the task actually requires doing at all.
Decide early on whether you will do it, or ditch the task or idea completely. Be honest with people. This will save your reputation and give clarity to those around you as to what your intentions are, and more importantly what you’re not prepared to do.
If you have the time I would love to hear your feedback from this week’s journal article. Or follow me on Twitter: @asterialifeC
Want to discover your star potential? Call me 07752565740
Living With Change