Monday, 23 January 2017

Why Time Should Be Your Only Currency

Image via Pexels

If time becomes our currency we are all equally rich. No one gets more than the other.  Isn’t this the most empowering thought? The crucial thing now is how YOU SPEND your time!

Learn to see this without any emotion. For just a period of 24 hours try and be an observer of how you spend your time. For instance, the time you spend on Instagram looking at people you don’t know, have never met & will never meet. But their Instagram feeds depress you instantly for hours. Deduct that from your daily allowance of time. Then add to that the time you spend aimlessly watching TV or YouTube videos when you don’t even enjoy them. Or just notice the amount of time you spend regretting the past and worrying about the future. You will be amazed by how much of your precious time is wasted in things that simply do not serve you.

Now picture this. If you were to spend this time working towards your dreams & goals or nurturing yourself or taking care of yourself or learning or simply doing anything that adds value to your life or makes you happy, you will not only feel great but also dramatically improve the quality of your life in a year’s time. An hour here and an hour there might seem inconsequential but over a period of 1, 2 or 3 years these hours stacked can turn into something great or NOTHING. Choice is yours and time is limited. Why not be detached from emotion and be objective about this concept. In this lifetime on this planet your time is extremely limited. Why not make the most of it and have fun along the way?

When you will start thinking of time as your currency you will become very very careful about who you spend your time with and how you spend it. This will help you get clearer on your life’s purpose as well as help you achieve what you truly want.

Just for one day, do this as an exercise. Be mindful about how you spend your time. 24 hours is all you have to spend. Then deduct 8 hours from it anyway for a good nights sleep and to recharge your batteries! And then all you have left is 16 hours. How you spend these 16 hours is totally up to you. Journal this for a day and the results could be shocking or surprising when you properly do this exercise.

When you grasp this concept and value your time as much as (if not more than) money you will start valuing yourself even more. You will realise that you deserve so much more. You will become very careful about how you spend your precious currency i.e. time.

Monday, 16 January 2017

13 Tips on Working from Home

It is 2017! Chances are that you might just be working from home. A lot of people are self-employed and a many need just a laptop and Internet to be able to work. Jobs are becoming more and more flexible and work culture as we know it is going through a major revolution. I work from home and at first I thought it was the best thing that ever happened to me. And while it definitely has a lot of pros and I still prefer it to working from an office space, it also comes with a bunch of cons. But there are ways to work around it! I have put together 13 tips on how you can make working from home productive. Hopefully you fill find some here that resonate with you and are helpful if you too are working from home.

1.     Have a designated desk for your office work but then be flexible enough to work from various different areas of your home. Sit at the dining table, coffee table or even in your bed. Step outside to your garden if that is a possibility. The thing is that creativity can strike you anywhere and at anytime. The trick is to honour it, embrace it and let it flow. Also changing your space can break the monotony of your day.

2.     Set an intention every morning that you will have a productive day. Visualize yourself finishing all your work and imagine having fruitful interactions with your boss, colleagues & clients. Expect the best.

3.     Make your home your Zen Den. Treat it like your shrine or temple or haven or sanctuary. Keep it super tidy. It helps you not getting distracted.  If your home is untidy, chances are that you are going to want to fix that whilst you are working. It’s just how our mind works and I am most certainly guilty of that. By making sure that you tidy up morning or evening or your free time ensures that your work hours are dedicated to your work!

4.     De -clutter. Clutter causes nothing but overwhelm and clutter at home or your workspace interferes with the flow of ideas, creativity & your productivity.

5.     Have a morning routine. This means waking up early, definitely exercising and possibly even meditating and having a healthy breakfast. This sets the tone for the rest of your day.

6.     Make the effort. You are spending the day with the most important person in your life and that’s YOU. Make an effort to get ready and get dressed. Wear good outfits and indulge in self-care and grooming. This doesn’t mean that you spend hours doing your hair and makeup. Be comfortable but surely make an effort to dress up, don’t just settle for pyjamas. It’s also a way of throwing it out to the universe that you are ready for life and that every moment of your life is special. This is also a way of expressing self-love and that is one of the most important things in life.

7.     Be in regular touch with your other office people via Skype, or Facetime or Whatsapp. We all need an outlet sometimes and no one else will understand the context of your office topics better that your co-workers. This also means that when you need help ask for it, don't just keep googling solutions in isolation!

8.     Get out often. Take active breaks. Try and leave technology behind and step out for a walk at lunchtime.

9.     Stretch and move around a lot. Keep active. Jumping on a trampoline helps too ;)

10. Every now and again work from a coffee shop just so that you can get out and be close to other humans. This satiates your need for human connection and at the same time makes you realize how calm and quiet your home is. So you can get back to it again, feeling the need to escape the busy-ness of the coffee shop, market areas etc. I hope this makes sense!

11. If at a certain time you cannot focus, leave it, take a break and come back to it later. Guided mediations even for 10 minutes at this point can help.

12. Plan and prep your meals & snacks. This ensures that you are not wasting precious time in your kitchen cooking at the last minute, then getting distracted with the mess you made etc etc. It’s a downward spiral from there. Believe me I know this one. Planning & prepping healthy snacks will also ensure that you don’t keep eating crap every time you take a break.

13. Plan ahead- Working from home and alone is certainly not easy. Self-discipline is crucial. Planning your tasks well in advance really helps. Yes I am talking To-Do lists and monthly calendars. But be realistic with your lists, don't get over ambitious and save yourself from overwhelm.

Let me know your top tips on working from home. I am always looking for more and more ways to make my days more productive and effective.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

3 Key Areas I Want to Focus on in 2017

I have thought long and hard about what I want to focus on in 2017 and I don’t want to call these resolutions just because the word ‘resolution’ comes with so much anxiety, stress & pressure. Resolution is kind of synonymous with a hollow promise you make to yourself that you know you won’t keep.

I also want to keep this short and simple, as long lists tend to overwhelm me. So the three key areas I want to focus in 2017 are listed down below.

1.     Consistency
Whether its work, creating content, health & fitness, spiritual or physical or mental well being or relationships; this year for me is all about being consistent.  I find myself being really good for a while and then kind of losing track. A great example is creating content regularly. So this year for me is really about showing up & doing things consistently. Things don’t have to be huge, they can be small, bite sized but they have to be consistent.
2.     ‘Do the Boos’
Everyone has a few things on their To Do lists that keep getting carried forward to the next one. My focus this year would be to get them done, one boo at a time. So for example it could simple stuff like epilating or colouring my hair or bigger things like de-cluttering, deep cleaning the kitchen, getting that driving license or signing up for that course. What can I say, my boo list is very long!!! This also means tackling the most difficult things on your list first! Just get them boos out of the way! My focus this year is to ‘do the boos’ and do them consistently.  
3.     Dive Deep Within
Finally, this year is about getting to know myself and loving my self unconditionally and then having the courage to be myself. Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world and the focus this year for me will be on my inner world. ‘Who really am I?’  is a question I have started asking myself a lot lately and I intend on asking this question all the time. In 2017 I am determined to get some answers and this of course also involves practicing radical self-love.

So what do you want your 2017 to be about? Tell me in the comments down below!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Navigate Your Joy- 16 Things You Can Do to be Happy Now

Navigate your joy- 16 things you can do to be happy now.

On my lifelong quest to finding happiness, I was hoping to unearth a slightly less clich├ęd & a slightly more complicated answer. But it really is a choice that you make every day in every minute, when you go to sleep or the moment you wake up. Its something you can consciously choose or not choose every time you do something or decide something or plan something. Once you come to terms with this concept and have committed yourself to choosing happiness, here are 16 other things you can do to amplify your happiness now!

Gratitude-You cannot be unhappy and grateful in the same moment. It's really that simple. The key though is to feel grateful in your bones. Just saying that you are grateful but feeling angry, resentful or fearful is something you need to keep a check on. So take a deep breath and start feeling truly grateful now. If you cant feel it start with something small and something basic, such as your hot shower on a cold winter morning, your breakfast, your mobile phone, the Internet connection etc. Work your way up from there. Gratitude is also a practice, it’s a muscle you need to exercise consistently in order for it to get strong.

Being present in the nowI know this is easier said than done and yes, like any other personal development junkie, I am recommending meditation. Try and not be intimidated. Meditation takes years of practice. I personally feel that some of easiest meditations especially when starting out are guided meditations. They are best to ease into the habit of daily mindfulness. Another way to keep this in check is by simply observing, notice when your mind starts to wander elsewhere, simply acknowledge that and try and bring it back to the present moment. Another way of being in the present moment is by doing something that you really enjoy. For me it’s cooking, doing yoga, going for long walks and/or being close to nature. A good indicator of being present in the now is that you forget to look at your phone for a while because you are having so much fun.

Step out in nature- Watching the sun rise or set, walking, stepping barefoot on grass or beach, swimming in the ocean are all ways to recharge your body, mind and soul and they are bound to elevate your mood.

 De clutter, tidy up & be light - I just finished listening to Marie Kondo’s The Magic of Tidying Up and like 6 million other people, something in me shifted. I have been a big hoarder pretty much all my life and even though I am still to apply the ‘Konmarie’ method to my entire household, I cannot describe the joy it brings as soon as you start de-cluttering & organizing your household. You start to feel light in your mind & body immediately.

 Give- As soon as you get out of your a** and do something for someone else, you feel AMAZING. It’s a bit scary at first but once you do it, you feel so much better and happier. It makes you believe in yourself more, gives you a sense of personal power and not in an arrogant way and personally for me has been a great confidence booster too.

 Exercise- Scientifically speaking, when you exercise, your body naturally produces endorphins and that puts you in a good mood. There are countless ways to exercise and you should pick something that you love & enjoy. Otherwise exercising will feel like yet another chore and you will eventually find excuses to not do it. I found my joy in yoga and pint sized HIIT workouts. Where have you found yours?

 Sleep- Getting good quality sleep rather than quantity is important. Every person is different and while some people need 6 hours, others might need 8 or even 9 hours to recuperate. Don’t count and judge the number of hours you should or should not be sleeping. Trust your body on this, its smarter than you think it is. Benefits of a good night’s sleep are endless, but most of all good sleep makes you less irritable, more calm, focused and happy.

Buy the best food you can afford. You really are what you eat and food can either be medicinal or poisonous. Be careful of what you put inside your body. The best way is to get involved with your food and start loving the whole process of selecting, buying & preparing your food. Your body needs you to be a food snob right now so be one and don’t feel awkward or guilty about wanting to know what is in your dish especially when you eat out! Don’t settle for anything less than the very best. Eating good quality, healthy food will most certainly make you feel happy & light. Eating crap might make you happy for a bit but it will ultimately turn into heartburn, indigestion and stomach pain & depression.

 Spend on experiences rather than things. While buying material things can make you happy momentarily, accumulating things around your house and in your life causes nothing but overwhelm. I have learnt this the hard way after 30 years of collecting junk. I now value experiences more than I value tangible things. That spa day you have been thinking of, that holiday you have been delaying, I heard you wanted to fly in a hot air balloon, bungee jump, sky dive?! Don’t put these off a minute longer. Go do them or at least plan to do them. These memories you will cherish all your life, and they will put a smile on your face every time you remember them. Some of my happiest memories are from holidays and times spent with family and friends, not from when I bought yet another dress from off season sales. Surprise surprise!

Buy your time back. Outsource.  This is a tough one to accept. We are all guilty of being penny-wise and pound-foolish. We think doing everything ourselves will help us save money plus no one else can do it better! Right? Perhaps that’s true! But there is something so magical in ‘letting go’. There is nothing more precious than time. Think of time as your currency and something will shift inside of you. Besides if time is currency then everyone is equally rich or poor. I like that thought! Having extra time can mean a lot of things. You can focus on things that matter the most...

Get creative. But be conscious that you are being creative just to be happy and don’t tie your passion to convert it into your profession. Let go of that. Find things that you like or love doing and do them without any passion-to-profession expectations. I also call them joy navigators. Just do them cause they bring you joy. So for me it's cooking healthy food & doing yoga. What is it for you?

Practice radical self love- We are creatures of love and we all seem to agree on that. While we tend to love others easily, we often find it very difficult to love ourselves. Please stop that negative self talk now. Stop body shaming. Stop punishing yourself in order to be perfect. Be kind, be gentle towards yourself. This is not at all about conceit. This is pure unadulterated love. If you want to be able to give love to others you first need to love yourself. And the rest automatically falls into place.       

Practice radical forgivenessLet go & forgive, holding a grudge against someone is like walking around with heavy suitcases 24*7. Why would you ever want to walk around with heavy suitcases?

Rediscover yourself. Remember that thing you loved when you were young. But left it cause your family said you couldn't make a career out of it. Or left it cause of competition that society instilled? Or left it cause you were ‘not good enough’? Do your soul a favour; take it up again. Just for fun. For me it's dancing. I love to dance but I don't want to be a professional dancer. I love dancing silly whilst getting ready or cleaning the house or just randomly.

Value people more than you value things- This was a big one for me. I live in a different country to my parents and brother but I truly feel that has got us closer. I value them a lot more and talk to them much more than I ever did growing up. If I am ever feeling low and anxious, I make it a point to call my mom, dad and brother and as soon as I know they are ok, I feel calm and happy. So have you been thinking of calling that family member or friend, just do it. Do it now. Pick up the phone and call your mom, dad, brother, sister or friends. Its 2017 and chances are that love or work may have brought you to another city perhaps another country. If you are ever feeling down, nothing is more reassuring than a quick call to your near & dear ones. Just do it.

Get a pet – I don’t have a pet yet but I am seriously thinking about getting one. I don’t know one person who regretted getting a pet. All I have ever heard from people who get pets is the amount of love, joy and happiness the pets have brought to their homes.

Go out & play! Don't take yourself too seriously ;)
Before I sign off...
You will still face problems, life will happen, there will be turmoil, ups & downs, relationships will come to an end, people will die but your happiness should not be subject to that. But the key is to remember to be connected with yourself and flow with life in its highs and lows. Don't delay being happy. It's your birth right and it is a choice. Commit to it. Set the intention of being happy, no matter what. I know its easier said than done, but you’ve got to practice happiness regularly to get good at being happy. Its just like any other skill.

I hope that the new year has started off on a great note for you and I truly wish that this year is a HAPPY one for all of us. 
© Shirin Saluja | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig