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How to Reduce the Effects of Stress, Isolation, and Insomnia When Working from Home

Recent studies regarding work from home employees, freelancers, and entrepreneurs bring up some pretty interesting points.

Some recent studies looking at “work from home” habits revealed several things of note. They say that people who work from home or who are highly mobile in their jobs tend to have more stress, feel more isolated, and even have a higher chance for insomnia.

How to Reduce Stress, Isolation, and Insomnia When Working from HomeMeanwhile, there are opposing studies saying that people working away from the office are only as stressful as the job is demanding. These studies propose that work at home jobs actually have a calming effect on people. This, however, doesn’t speak about the feeling of isolation or the development of insomnia.

Regardless of who is right, we need ways to prevent stress, isolation, and insomnia when it comes to any work from home careers. Having proper prevention plans will help to reduce any oncoming effects.

So, what can we possibly do?


How to Prevent Stress

Stress affects the mind and body in many ways. Stress can make you feel irritable, anxious, or it can even cause depression. Stress can cause headaches and insomnia. Chronic stress affects your ability to work, think, and socialize.

Trying to prevent stress is better than trying to relieve stress once you are affected by it. This will reduce the amount of stress that can impact your performance and behavior.

Some ways to prevent stress include:

  • This is definitely going to grind some gears, but you have to reduce your intake of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine. Heavy use of these drugs have negative effects on the body as well as alter your perception and behavior. They increase irritability and anxiety which drop productivity noticeably.

 

  • Take Frequent BreaksTake frequent breaks. There are many strategies when it comes to taking breaks, believe it or not. Here are some general guidelines – Work for about 90 minutes at a time and then step away from the screen and do some light exercises. If possible, make it a social break with some light conversation. If exercise and social engagement are out of the question at the time, do some meditative breathing exercises. The aim is to get a little boost to your cognitive functions when you get back from your break.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to take a vacation. Schedule time away with the family and, if possible, set up your projects to work autonomously while you are gone. Relax and re-energize. Make it so that you come back to work with renewed vigor.

 

  • Reward yourself for the small victories! Did you meet one of your goals for the day? Treat yourself to a healthy snack. Use positive reinforcement on yourself because it works. Did you complete one of your project tasks? Indulge yourself with a minor pleasure.

 

  • Eat Healthy, Exercise Regularly, and Get Restful SleepEat healthy, exercise regularly, and get restful sleep. These are more obvious habits to abide by as their effects are well known. They all energize the body and mind, improving overall productivity.

 

  • Learn to laugh more. Take some time to watch funny videos or read some good jokes. Increasing your level of joy makes it easier to get your mind in the game. Be careful not to overdo it, though. You can easily fall off track watching cat videos on the internet. Remember, the goal is less stress, more productivity.

Use these tips to your best advantage and I know you can prevent a large amount of stress from ever taking root.


How to Prevent Feeling Isolated

Working from home can easily lead to isolation. Feeling isolated can increase your risk of depression, cause you to withdraw from social activities, and generally bring down your overall mood.

Luckily, it’s easy to learn how to stop feeling lonely. It’s really all about increasing your social engagement. Here’s how:

  • Have lunch away from home. Training yourself to eat away from home pushes you into social situations, whether it’s eating at a healthy restaurant or piecing together your meal at the local grocery store. You may end up spending a little bit more per week if you dine out, but if you’re just going to the grocer you should be saving a little money.

 

  • Get a Work BuddyGet a work buddy. This is an important tip. Having work buddies highly increases your social engagement. You can share ideas at the local library, collaborate in a small cafe, or brainstorm together at a nearby park. You don’t have to work with the same person every day. In fact, it is recommended to work with several different people so your thought pool is constantly changing and growing.

 

  • If you can’t work with others in person, try out video or voice conferences. Find a group of like-minded individuals and bounce ideas around. Grow your network of friends and colleagues through forums and on Skype. Share thoughts often and listen in return. Group discussions are almost always beneficial for growing your online presence.

 

  • Take part at local Meetups. Meetups are different groups of people that make plans to meet in person and socialize. There are meetups for all kinds of interests. Finding a business Meetup is actually quite easy in decently sized cities. You can plan to go to scheduled Meetups or try to schedule your own.

With any luck, these tips will be enough to keep you out of your head and not withdrawing from the public eye.


How to Prevent Insomnia

Insomnia is one of the hardest things to avoid. There are a lot of distractions in the world today that can keep us awake at night. When you have insomnia, you HAVE insomnia. It is tough to get rid of. You don’t have to make a habit of suffering from insomnia, though.

There are a few things you can do to try and avoid developing insomnia while working from home. They include:

  • Keep Your Home Office Away from Your BedroomKeep your home office away from your bedroom. You want to train yourself to contain your work in one section of your home away from your bedroom. The less you work in or near your bedroom, the less likely you are to bring your work to bed and have it keep you up at night.

 

  • Train yourself to shut out work after hours. Working from home tends to have the disadvantage that you are always in work mode. Schedule your time for work. When the work day is over, try meditating and practicing mindfulness to keep your mind preoccupied with things other than work.

 

  • Try to wake up at the same time every day. Another part is to try and sleep at the same time every night, as well. Getting on a regular sleep schedule trains your mind to “shut down” around bedtime. As you can imagine, this causes the brain to produce the “sleep chemical” at a reliable time every night so you pass out when you want to.

 

  • Like earlier, try to eliminate any alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine intake. Stimulants like nicotine and caffeine can affect you for hours, keeping you awake and alert, for the most part. You know this makes it difficult to sleep and can cause you to wake up often in the night. Alcohol is the same way when it comes to restful sleep. It may have a sedative effect at first, but the drug can cause you to lose restful sleep.

 

  • Exercise RegularlyMake a habit of exercising regularly. Depending on how exercising affects your mind and body, exercising before bed can either have a stimulant effect or a sedative effect. For me, exercising makes me tired so I tend to exercise shortly before bedtime. It works out for me because I pass out more easily and get restful sleep. Regardless of when you do it, exercising regularly can improve your sleep quality and increase how long you sleep.

 

  • Do not eat or drink shortly before going to bed. Eating or drinking can trigger your digestive system into kicking in, keeping you awake. Eating or drinking before bed can also cause heartburn to occur and we both know that trying to sleep with heartburn is damn near impossible and is generally just a bad idea.

 

  • If insomnia becomes a problem for you, talk to your doctor about potential sleep aids. Taking an appropriate dosage of melatonin pills can push the mind towards wanting to sleep and will keep you asleep during the night. If you take too much melatonin, though, you may sleep past your alarm and further into the day than you wish, so use as directed.

 

  • When it’s time to sleep, shut down all of your electronics. This includes Facebook on your smartphone, your television, your radio, pretty much anything that can keep you distracted and awake. Having electronics on during sleep can affect your sleep quality and cause you to wake up frequently in the night.

Keep these tips in mind. Use them early and stick to them because they work. This will greatly improve your sleep quality and keep you asleep longer. Getting regular, restful sleep will also help in reducing and preventing stress.


Continue Reading

If you want to learn a different way to beat insomnia, give Outsmart Insomnia Protocol a try. This program discusses newer scientific studies regarding the cause of insomnia and how to cure insomnia. The aim of Outsmart Insomnia Protocol is to help you get to sleep in 15 minutes or less. There’s some interesting stuff in there so it’s worth a read if you get the chance.

Outsmart Insomnia Protocol


That’s All for Now

Do you have problems with stress, isolation, or insomnia? How are these problems affecting your business productivity, social life, or home life? Do you have other questions or comments? Let me know in the comment box below.

I love reading all of your responses and getting the chance to reply. You can always find something interesting in the comments section. Keep those comments coming!

Thanks for reading! See you next time.

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Why Do College Students Procrastinate? How to Stop Academic Procrastination

Academic procrastination habits can start pretty early in life.

Do you remember elementary school? Can you recall the kind of homework assignments you received as a young student?

The homework tasks were really not that complicated back then but it always seemed like there was something else you would rather do, right?

Why Do College Students Procrastinate?For some, there was an appeal to playing outside with friends and family pets. For others, television or video games sucked you in.

It was in those days that we developed this habit of procrastinating. We put off our writing assignments and reading journals for as long as possible.

We wanted that gold star but we didn’t want to do the work.

If it weren’t for our parents or guardians, we probably would have never completed any homework…

That’s okay, though. We stopped procrastinating at the end of elementary when things were starting to get more serious.

What? We didn’t stop procrastinating? Growing responsibility didn’t improve our desire to do work?

No. No, it didn’t. And the consequences became worse…

Since elementary, we’ve had plenty of time to kick the habit. So, why do college students procrastinate?


What is the Psychology behind procrastination?

History is riddled with chronic procrastinators. The concept is not new. It’s been a topic of discussion as early as 800 BCE.

There are many warnings cautioning us away from procrastination and the perils it may bring. In some religions, it’s even a sin!

So, ask yourself, “why do I procrastinate?” Why do we procrastinate even when we have nothing better to do?

Lazy College StudentLet’s take a look at some statistics really quick. According to several websites that you can search on Google, 85%-95% of college students admit to having procrastinated. In addition to that, as many as 50% are chronic procrastinators.

Those are some astounding numbers, right? Crazy. How have we, as a society, even created massive architecture or discovered technological anomalies that advanced our civilization?

You think with numbers like that we would all still be living in mud huts while putting off the hunt because we’re not that hungry and there’s enough left over for a little snack still.

Procrastination results in more than just lost time. It has physical effects on us as well. When we procrastinate, we become more stressed out, we lose self-esteem, and we can even become less healthy due to our choices.

Academically, our grades suffer. This is because we miss draft deadlines meaning that we don’t have peer input into our work. We put off homework and end up with reduced grading for late work if the work is even graded at all. We wait until the very last minute to try speed-reading books and hurriedly write our reports causing us to miss crucial information.

Despite all of the negative consequences, we still freaking do it! Why?!


There are a few reasons, actually.

1 – We like the challenge.

We put everything off until the very last minute because we get an adrenaline rush and do what seems impossible. When we complete our inefficiently created project we get a misplaced sense of pride and think we can do this with every task we come across. We feel like winners.

2 – We have a sense of rebellion.

Sense of RebellionGrowing up, you might have had a parental figure that pushed you to do things on time or ahead of schedule. It makes you feel pressured and upset. So, when we’re older and can make our own decisions we rebel against what we were forced to do and it makes us feel liberated in a sense.

3 – We lie to ourselves.

We don’t feel like doing this project right now so we put it off. We’ll be in the mood to do it tomorrow or next week. There’s always going to be a later date that we tell ourselves is going to be the day we feel inclined to work. We continue with these lies up until the deadline of our project.

4 – We distract ourselves.

When we have an obligation, we actively look for something to distract us from the responsibility. We look for something that doesn’t have us actively engaging like watching television or reading email. We can’t feel bad about procrastinating if we just ignore it, right?

5 – We fear failure.

For many of us, anxiety plays a huge part in procrastination. We don’t want to fail and we fear the social consequences of failing, so we feel like if we avoid the task, we avoid the social negativity.

Whatever the reason, we have this bad habit of procrastinating. For some of us, we want some way to break free from this burden…but how can we do that?


We want to learn how to stop procrastination!

We all know that fighting procrastination is beyond difficult. Many of us try something for a little while that might kind of work but then we fall back into the habit of putting things off.

We need something that really works for us. One solution may work for some but not others. Now, what are some tips that we can try out?

Making a Mountain Out of a MolehillA – Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.

With some projects, we tend to blow them out of proportions and freak out a little bit. Try looking at your project like a collection of small tasks. Doing these small tasks in order can help us complete the project on time or even ahead of schedule.

B – Meet YOUR OWN deadline.

Try this. Bring the deadline closer. Halve the time that the deadline is set for. Make that your new deadline and make real consequences for not meeting it. You can set positive consequences such as “if I miss the deadline, I will donate $50 to this charity”. Act like you would with the actual deadline because you know you will procrastinate on the new one too.

C – Start with the hard stuff.

If you start with the hardest part of your project first, the project can only get easier and easier. Tackle the most difficult part of your assignment. Just push through it and do it. Then continue down the line with the easier tasks. You will feel better as you complete each piece.

D – Create a to-do list.

Lists are powerful things. Having a list made up makes your responsibility real. Making a list makes you 75% more likely to complete a task (I totally didn’t make up that statistic…maybe). Use lists to your advantage as often as you can. It feels really good to check off items on your list. It can really encourage positive behavior.

Remove DistractionsE – Remove distractions.

One of the biggest factors for procrastination is distractions in your local vicinity. If you are working in your room, take down posters, put away game systems, turn off the phone, and stay away from social network sites on the computer. Remove anything that can distract you from completing your project. Fewer distractions means there is less of a chance to fall off track.

F – Don’t be a perfectionist.

Trying to get everything perfect the first time through is demoralizing. Get out your first draft. It’s allowed to be sloppy and have mistakes. Getting a rough draft out improves morale because you’re pretty much halfway there. Once you get your first draft out, work on the second, improving on the first. Just keep improving on drafts until you are satisfied with the end result.

Work on these tips. This is the strategy for how to stop procrastination. Use one tip at a time and start to build a strong foundation that you can use to beat procrastination.


Still curious about procrastination?

If you’re still interested in finding out more about procrastination and how to beat it, then I recommend reading The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play. It’s a mouthful, I know but it’s a great book on the subject and it has additional strategies that I haven’t covered as well.

You can check out some reviews here on Amazon.


That’s all for today!

Do you have problems with procrastination or do you know a friend who does? Do any of the tips sound like they will help or do you have another opinion? Let me know in the comment box below!

I love reading your responses and having the opportunity to connect! So, keep those comments coming.

Thanks for reading! See you next time.

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Goal Setting Strategies – Tips on Setting Goals

Have you been setting goals for yourself lately?

WritingMaybe you have, maybe you haven’t. A better question may be “have you achieved your goals lately?”. With many people, the goals they set are either unmotivating or nearly impossible to achieve. That’s where goal setting strategies come in. These tips on setting goals may change the way you achieve success.

There are many goal setting strategies out there. Today, I’m going to explain my personal goal setting strategy that I use every day. The purpose of this goal setting strategy is to help you make realistic and motivating goals.


My goal setting strategy.

First of all, you want to set 3 goals for each period length in your life. What this means is you set 3 daily goals, 3 weekly goals, 3 monthly goals, and 3 lifetime goals. This way you will always have goals to work towards. You want your goals to be achievable so you set your easiest and most immediate goals every day and set your hardest, long-term goals as your lifetime goals.

Next thing to keep in mind is to make your goals clear and concise. You want clarity with your goals. Your goal’s purpose needs to be specific and understandable. The more broad and open-ended your goal is, the less motivating it is. This is because you can’t pinpoint exactly what you want to do.

For instance, “I will make more money this month” is far more broad than “I will make more money selling 100 of product x this month”.

A big thing you should consider when setting goals is that you need to make the goal achievable but challenging. For example, if you know you can run 45 minutes on the treadmill try aiming for 1 hour for the day instead.

Setting realistic, challenging goals helps to keep you motivated and wanting to complete the goals. And always keep in mind the kinds of requirements your goals have. Can you achieve the goal with your current resources? What do you need to help you achieve your goal? Work towards

ChecklistAnd always keep in mind the kinds of requirements your goals have. Can you achieve the goal with your current resources? What do you need to help you achieve your goal? Work towards meeting your goal’s requirements.

If you can’t find a plausible way to complete your goal, don’t set that goal. Set something more realistic.

Next, you want to why your goals are important. How will setting this goal affect you or your interests? What impact are you expecting your goal to have on your business? Keeping in mind the kind of influence your goal will have is important for morale and motivation.

Lastly, you want to stick to the deadline you set for your goals. If your goal is a daily goal, do your best to successfully complete it that day. If you don’t keep to a deadline, you’re less inclined to complete a goal.

Allowing yourself an unlimited amount of time to finish a goal causes laziness. “Oh…I’ll just try to complete it next month.” “There’s no reason to rush this goal, I can just do it later.” Don’t fall into that kind of apathy. Always set a reasonable deadline.


Continue reading about goal setting.

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to continue reading on the subject. Listen to the advice in books and practice what they preach.

One book I find incredibly helpful on the subject of goal setting is Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want and Getting It. This book has incredible and revealing reviews on Amazon, so check them out here.

For more advice on self-improvement, check out my post titled How to Invest in Yourself – Ways to Improve YourselfThis post talks about ways you can improve your quality of life on a daily basis.


That’s it for today.

I wanted to thank you for reading this post. It means a lot to me and I would really appreciate you leaving your thoughts and comments in the comment box below. I love reading your responses and I get to them on a daily basis.

Be sure to come back often. I try to make daily posts on subjects like making money, how to handle student loans, and self-improvement.

Thanks again. See you next time!

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How to Invest in Yourself – Ways to Improve Yourself

Investing isn’t just about money…

Self-ImprovementImproving your quality of life isn’t just about making money. To really improve your quality of life, you have to learn how to invest in yourself. You have to learn ways to improve yourself on a daily basis.

Improving yourself has several benefits:

  • Better Self-Confidence
  • Heightened Mental Clarity
  • Improved Focus
  • Greater Motivation
  • More Rewarding Relationships
  • and more…

So, what can you do to improve yourself?

The first thing you can do to improve yourself is pretty simple, though the effects go beyond fitness. Exercising daily can really help your train of thought. Going on walks regularly will clear your mind and if you can catch sufficient sunlight, you will also create a lot of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is known to help bone and teeth health, help prevent some diseases, boost weight loss, and can even help fight depression. Getting a light exercise in before a big test or presentation will also help you stay focused and on point.

Stay CreativeNext, you should try to take part in some art form at least weekly. This could be drawing, sculpting, or even playing a musical instrument could count. Learning different techniques and styles of your chosen art form can boost your creative thinking skills.

A couple other things you should consider doing on a regular basis are puzzles and brain teasers. These will help you think outside-the-box more often and help you come up with creative solutions to problems you are facing.

One big thing that you should consider doing is learning a new foreign language. The ability to speak and read multiple languages increases your overall brain power. It also improves your ability to multi-task and improves your memory.

Another big benefit of learning another language is that it helps slow the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Learning a new language might also encourage you to get out and travel the world a little if that’s something you’ve wanted to do.

Goal-setting should be one of your top priorities when it comes to self-improvement. Setting and achieving goals boosts self-confidence and encourages positive thinking.

You should try setting 3 daily goals, 3 weekly goals, 3 monthly goals, and 3 lifetime goals. This way you always have a goal that you are working towards.

Make sure you set realistic goals but don’t be afraid to push the envelope a little. When you accomplish a goal that you didn’t think was quite possible, it’s a very rewarding feeling.

Knowledge is PowerLastly, one of the easiest things to do on this list is read. Read books and read often. Read to expand your knowledge of an industry and read to explore new concepts and ideas.

Reading a book weekly increases your vocabulary and opens you up to new thoughts. You end up learning things you would never have considered before, especially if you read about unfamiliar industries. Reading about other industries might reveal different ways to solve familiar problems.

For more information on self-improvement, I personally recommend The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. It’s a great book on the subject and will definitely help you on your self-improvement journey.

What do you think? Do you understand how to invest in yourself better than before? I’d love to read your thoughts and comments on ways to improve yourself below.