Why We Don’t Get Things Done

Originally posted on Let's Reach Success:

That’s a guest post I wrote for Time Management Ninja.com. You can find the whole article here.

Being (or not being) productive is one of the many things we stress over. Often at the end of the day we feel exhausted, and unsatisfied with our performance and results, even though we’ve completed many things.

Instead of simplifying our daily routine by doing our tasks and getting done what needs to be done, we prefer to worry about it, to fear the possibility of failing, to anguish over where to start, over-think the process and so on.

You know all the things you should be doing.  But do you know why you aren’t doing them?

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Minimalist Lifestyle Happenings

It has been quite a while since I posted and quite a bit has happened since then.

I had lost my job(that sucked), but it was a job that certainly paid the bills. It certainly forced me to reflect a bit on where I was with my life. I tried to be proactive and applied for various jobs, got my name back on the substitute teaching list for out local school district and put some ads online to do some yard clean up jobs if needed for local folks.

Well I got a 2 week job at the post office. I have been substituting. And the online ads turned into a gig for a wonderful couple that owns an apartment building. They needed someone to do a bit of caretaking around the place. Yard clean up, shoveling and salting the walkways in the winter. I sort of make my own hours and do what needs to be done. A perfect gig for me.

So you see, things do happen for a reason. I was so unhappy at my past job. The culture at that place is one of negativity, bullying, and rampant sexism against women. The comments that my coworkers made towards women was appalling. Now a lot of people would say that this is “men being men”. Locker room talk kind of stuff. But I just don’t get it. Why is it okay and acceptable? Managers and supervisors are very aware of this behavior. They witness it first hand.

So with all the things going on with Bill Cosby it just does not surprise me. Men have this attitude toward women that they can do and say anything they want and it doesn’t matter. And I do not see it changing anytime soon.

On a different note my friend and I both realized that after months of eating nothing but garbage we had both hit rock bottom with our weight and how we felt. So for the past 2 weeks we have cleaned things up and both feel a lot better. I have been working out almost every day. It is amazing what one can do when things in life are just generally better. Not working shift work has been a huge bonus.

We are following the Whole30 Program. Just eat real food with no chemicals. Pretty easy stuff really.

I have a long way to go to try and drop a few pounds(well more than a few!). But I am just cruising along and not overthinking it. I have had success before so I know that it can be done. By next summer if I am down 20 pounds of blubber that would be grand.

Life is short. Too short to be unhappy with your job, or life in general. So if you can swing it make some changes.

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F*ck Being Happy

minimalistlifestyle:

perfectly said!

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

I’m sprawled out on the couch right now and I’m a little tipsy off of some sauvignon blanc I liberally added to my body while cooking dinner and I’m listening to Taylor Swift’s 1989 on repeat until my ears bleed and I’m not happy. Fuck being happy. I’m sick of trying to be happy. You know what I want to be and what I am right now? Alive.

I’m sick of the maddening sprint toward happiness. We’re driving ourselves crazy, ragged, stressed, for some high, some glimmer of a shininess, of a happiness. Why? Who said we need to be happy? Who said we deserve it? Who cares? What’s the whole point of it?

We’re unhappy because we’re not happy. We’re miserable because we’re not happy. We’re chasing happy, we’re choosing happy, we’re thinking positive! thoughts! Always positive! Always happy! Chase, choose, chase, choose.

Fuck it.

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Here’s Proof Buying More Stuff Actually Makes You Miserable

Originally posted on TIME:

Our piles of crap don’t just contribute to reality-TV shows like Storage Wars and Hoarders — they also make us miserable, and not just when we can’t find the right remote or trip over a plastic robot our kid left on the floor.

Getting things like a new car or 60-inch flat-screen are goals many of us work toward. Unfortunately, these pursuits have the opposite effect we intend: Instead of making us happier, getting more stuff drags us down. In a new paper published in the journal Motivation and Emotion, Knox College psychology professor Tim Kasser shows, through a series of experiments spanning from six months to 12 years, that when people become more materialistic, their emotional well-being takes a dive.

It’s possible that the Great Recession and subsequent anemic recovery are at least partly to blame for any materialism-related malaise Americans suffer today. Scientists know that insecurity of…

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Is It Possible To Change Your Life?

I wonder how many people out there think that they want to change their life or at least some aspect of the life they are currently living.

I suppose it depends where on the planet we do our little survey. Some countries may have a higher “life satisfaction quotient” than others.

I have read that something like 80% of people are unhappy with their lives. What part of their lives I am not sure.

I’m convinced that most people dislike their lives, not in any robust way but with the kind of casual contempt that can be easily ignored by a society that prizes movement and action above just about everything else.

They dislike their jobs, they dislike their boss, they dislike the things they must do in order to make the living that will allow them to continue disliking their life.

So why do we go on with the status quo if we are so unhappy with it?

Why don’t we try to change things to bring about some level of satisfaction or happiness?

I think it may be that we just don’t know how to enact any change.

How many self help books are out there? 100’s? 1000’s?
These self help books sell like hotcakes but how much help do they really give people?

The headlines scream “30 days to a new you!”, but the reality is that it is going to take a lot longer than that.

The headline is there to sell the book. You still have to put in the hard work to make any real changes that last.

You are made up of all the thoughts you have EVER HAD. Millions of thoughts have created all of the habits you have. And these habits are what keep you where you are.

Creating new beliefs and new habits is HARD! Now I know that that is a bit of a negative belief itself, saying that it is hard to make a change that will improve your life, but I think it is true.

Admitting that something is hard doesn’t mean you have to be an asshole to yourself when you suffer a setback in making some positive, life changing habits.

Just keep on moving forward. One day at a time.

The other thing is that we only have to compare ourselves to ourselves. You are the only person that matters when it comes to making improvements in your life.

Don’t think that I have any real answers here either. As this previous post explains, I am very thankful for my minimalist lifestyle right now.

I am still looking for a meaningful job. But I am in a good place mentally. I have a golden opportunity to recreate who I am and to find a job/career that has purpose.

By the way, the people who are the most satisfied with their lives are the ones who have some kind of purpose. They have made sacrifices. They have carved out their own path. They have found something that makes them happy and they have worked toward that.

Writing a novel.

Starting a business.

Volunteering.

You can’t just hope that things will work themselves out. Understand that you can make goals and as long as you actively pursue them it’s not foolish or crazy to think that you can really accomplish something.

This is how you can change your life.

“Live Simply”

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Thank Goodness For Minimalist Living Right Now

Minimalist living has been my way of living for a few years now.

It has helped me in a number of ways.

I have managed to live on a single income while raising a teenage son and we have a good life.

I have no consumer debt. I do not have a cell phone.

I have made it a habit to think before I spend money. Do I really need the item I am considering purchasing?

But now more than ever minimalist living is going to need to help.

As some may have read I do not have a job right now.

It is not a fun place to be mentally.

That being said, I do believe that everything does happen for a reason.

I have an education degree and am a good communicator and a quick learner. I have things to offer.

I have been doing everything I should be doing over the past two days to keep my spirits up and to try and find employment.

But now more than ever I will need to be frugal and resourceful.

I cannot imagine going through this and having a huge mortgage payment and credit card bills that need to be paid.

My heart does go out to people who are in that situation.

Let me ask you this question: How would you handle losing your job?

How stressful would it be for you? Do you have some money put aside for just such a situation?

How long do you think it would take you to find a new job?

Not having a job is stressful but it certainly does give a person time(lots of time!) to think about what is really important.

For me I need to pay rent and feed my son. Nothing else matters.

So minimalist living is keeping me going. If I start to feel a bit anxious about not having a job I remember to breathe and keep calm.

There are jobs out there. I just need to make it known that I am looking which I have started to do.

And I also remind myself that things could always be worse. There are people out there that are dealing with situations that are a lot worse than mine.

I am going to post my resume right here to this blog. Any suggestions to make it better are appreciated. The initial cover letter is generic in nature as I am planning on handing some out in the next few days. Something like 90% of jobs are filled without being advertised.

If you found any value in this post please donate using the donate button below. Thank you.

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Here is my resume. Please give me some feedback. I really want to get a job ASAP. Thank you.

October 8, 2014
Mark Lowe
18C Empire Street
Bridgewater, NS
B4V 2L3
markty-1970@hotmail.com

Please find enclosed my CV in application for ( ).

You will find that the nature of my education, combined with my training and work experience has prepared me for a position with your company.

I am passionate about helping people to succeed and enjoy working with many different types of people.

Co-workers have mentioned that I possess leadership qualities and am an excellent team player.

I enjoy public speaking, training and resolving problems through the development and implementation of creative measures. I am a fast learner, with a keen eye for detail.

I am able to take on the responsibility of a position immediately, and have the enthusiasm and determination to ensure that I make a success of it.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this application and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future to discuss how I would be an asset with your organization.

Regards,

Mark Lowe

Mark Kenneth Lowe
18C Empire Street, Bridgewater, NS
markty-1970@hotmail.com

OBJECTIVE

To obtain a position where I can maximize my interpersonal skills, utilize my educational background, implement program and policy development, and provide quality customer service with a forward thinking organization.

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS

Results-oriented, high-energy, hands-on professional, with a successful record of accomplishments with a variety of organizations. Superior interpersonal skills gleaned from self-employment. Training and education background with a Bachelor of Education degree.

Major strengths include:
• strong leadership and management skills, excellent communication skills, strong team player; public speaking, training skills
• trouble shooting and problem solving, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in regulated environments
• Supervisory skills including hiring, termination, scheduling, training, payroll and other
administrative tasks. Experience with licensing and registration and Motor Vehicle Act legislation in regards to driver licensing as Former owner of Young Drivers of Canada Driving School

PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
As owner of the Young Drivers of Canada Driving School in Truro and Amherst NS from 1998-2008.

Trained and assisted employees with proper instruction techniques. Achieved business growth from 100 annual students in 1998 to 500 annual students in 2008.

Provided daily operational support and review for all staff of educational accountability as it relates to government regulatory requirements in a driving school environment.
Managed budget review process.

Provided excellent customer service, intervention/problem resolution, lesson planning, scheduling, Quality Control, Payroll, and Special Course implementation.
Participated in management team process to develop vision and mission statements.

Management Philosophy

It is no longer enough for employees to simply “embrace” change: continuous improvement must become a way of doing business, where people actively seek improvements, and where systems and processes support and drive initiative. Trust is the key. The work environment must be such that people work without fear, within a culture that encourages pride in both personal and organizational accomplishments.

CAREER HISTORY:

Operator – Michelin North America, Bridgewater, NS. 2011-2014

Responsible for operation of wire descaling and wire draw machinery. Trouble shooting and problem solving problems with machinery. Communication with team workers regarding changes in wire. Communication with management regarding issues/production levels. Recognized for maintaining above average production levels.
Relief Shift Process Leader – Michelin North America, NS

The SPL is the go to person on shift for all issues regarding the production process in all departments. They are also responsible for reporting of all incidents, coordinating workforce personnel during unplanned absences, creation of shift production reports. The SPL is responsible for the resolution and prioritizing of product flow between departments.

Teacher – South Shore Regional School Board 2008-2010

Responsible for instructing students, record keeping, lesson planning, preparing and attending parent/ teacher conferences, coaching various sports teams, attending staff meeting and teacher professional development conferences.

Owner /Operator — Young Drivers of Canada Driving School 1998-2007

Responsible for day to day operation of running a small business. Management of 5 staff members. Provided both classroom and in-car instruction to new and experienced drivers. Communicating with government officials regarding regulatory changes.

EDUCATION & TRAINING:

Bachelor of Education, Nova Scotia Teachers College, 1993
Major: Social Studies – Junior High

Driver Training Instructor Training: Young Drivers of Canada, 1995

Business and Management Training: Young Drivers of Canada, 1998

References Available Upon Request

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Simplify Life

Simplify Life

Simplify Life

Why is it important to simplify life?

In my opinion a lot of people in the western world especially have just too much going on.

They work a lot of hours to try and keep the bills paid. They then may work some type of a part time job for some extra money. Then they have different activities that they are involved in for either themselves or their children.

Life is just too damn busy it seems for a lot of people.

Now don’t get me wrong. If your financial situation is a bit dire because of some poor decision making, then maybe you do need to work some overtime or a part time job for some extra money.

But where does it stop? Why have we gone from spending time with our loved ones to spending time on Facebook?

How much stress does all this busyness cause I wonder?

Does your family have a chance to have sit down meals together and actually talk about the day?

When is the last time you went for a walk with your partner or played with your kids without having your smartphone interrupting you?

And we have not yet even mentioned the extra stuff that may be taking up too much space in your house or apartment.

These are just some of the reasons that you may want to simplify life.

What items in your house are truly necessary? If there was a fire what would you really want to try and save?

The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Life

One way to simplify life would be to try and identify what is absolutely essential and eliminate everything else.

This may sound extreme to some but once you get started you may find that it actually liberating to let go of things.

And the other thing to do is to stop buying things you do not need.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how organized are you? Hmmm, maybe we should ask your partner about that!

If you are always looking for you bank card, keys or important papers perhaps it is time to reevaluate how you are living.

Make a to do list of a few items you would like to accomplish.
Get ready the night before. Have a specific place for important papers. You may not achieve uber-organized status but it’s a start.

In order to simplify life you need to look after yourself first.

A lot of us want to help others. This leads to always saying yes when asked to take on a new task or lead a new group. It is okay to say no sometimes. Simply let people know that you have too much on your plate right now to take on anything else.

We need to also remember that clutter can also be very mental. There are a lot of people that sleep with their smartphone. How many times a day do you update or check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest? Maybe you could simplify life by weaning yourself off of social networking sites. How much productivity is lost at workplaces because of this behavior?

When we talk about the need to simplify life we do not have to get rid of absolutely everything and everyone. We do not have to live in a cave or tiny house(unless you WANT to!).

In order to simplify life you just have to figure out what is important to you and make that a priority.

Simplifying life doesn’t need to be complicated. Learning to create a quieter, more balanced space in your life can help immensely, and reduce stress. Taking little steps is the best way to make it happen. Eliminating clutter, getting organized, simplifying your relationships, and learning to take the time to slow down and appreciate the little things can help to keep you sane. You can start today.

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