Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Good Reads/Podcasts/Videos - March 2021

I realised my Good Reads post have this trend/theme around self-improvement article - a little realisation/wake-up call that I should probably try to branch out a little and read more about other topics (Eg: business, finance), But in the month of March 2021, I found myself struggling at work a little and procrastinating over tasks, which led to the discovery of these articles. Thank you Google and algorithms. 

 There Are 3 Types of Procrastinators. This Flowchart Will Tell You Which One You Are - Inc.

Procrastination has always been associated with "laziness", but there are reasons beyond that - this article explained the three common type of procrastinators, illustrated in the chart below.

This article came in timely as I have been finding myself procrastinating a lot recently. I realised that I am falling into the "Decisional Procrastinator" category - I find myself procrastinating both at work and out of work - and the description seems to match what I feel. 

One simple example - I have always wanted to promote the content of my blog, but this has never really taken off because I kept procrastinating, finding excuses to put off this simple task, and telling myself I'll do so when "I'm good enough". But what is good enough? How do you know if the content is "good enough"? 

What is it that is holding me back? Upon reflection, I realised that I am afraid of judgement from others - on how what I write is not good enough, could be better etc etc etc. Which is honestly a silly glass ceiling I have created for myself.  

I know I've just got to believe in myself more, and just do it. 

This flows nicely into the next article I'd like to share...

Use This Flowchart to Identify What Type of Procrastinator You Are - Life Hacker

Now that you have identified what type of procrastinator you are, now let's talk about how we can try to overcome it. This article from Life Hacker gave some pretty good suggestions and mindset changes/next steps you can try to get over procrastinating :) 

I'd definitely want to be mindful to always keep the bigger picture in my mind

I started this blog to share about the food I love, places I've been that I want others to know about, and now some random stuff which I thought will be helpful to others too (eg: all these articles I am sharing), and this is something I want to keep in my mind :)

I am starting to journal my thoughts and try to identify the why(s) of my fear - I realised when I put my thoughts into words, I am able to see through my irrationality (sometimes) :) 

Science of Persuasion - Influence at Work

This video was introduced in one of the online course I've been taking on Coursera. My main takeaway from this video -

There are six strategies to help increase your influence of persuasion, namely:

1) Reciprocity - give what you receive, vice versa. Be the first to give, personalise it, and make it unique to increase persuasion! 
2) Scarcity - people tend to say yes when they learnt about what they stand to lose 
3) Authority - be the subject matter expert to be persuasive 
4) Consistency - be consistent with past & future effort 
5) Liking - people are more likely to be persuaded by people who are similar to them
6) Consensus - people are more likely to be persuaded if everyone else is doing the same 

Which strategy do you want to try out? I find myself resonating with liking the most - a good chance to get to know people while trying to get buy-ins :P 

7 simple questions to help form your 2021 career goals - CNBC

I love the reflection questions in this article! These questions are helpful for one to understand their strength, values and purpose. Here are the seven key questions from the article: 

1. What have you accomplished this year/during x?

This helps you create a positive mindset when you're entering the new year/phase

2. What makes you come alive? 

What tasks are you completing? What kind of environment are you working in? Who are you interacting with?

3. What do you not want?

4. What can you accomplish by yourself? 

ie your achievement that is not reliant on anyone else

5. How are you spending your time each day?

6. What would your perfect day look like?
7. What helps you find resilience every day? 

Think about what helped you get through especially turbulent days this year: How did you organize your time? How much flexibility did you need from your boss in order to do your best job at home and at work? What did you do to take care of yourself each day?

After I've reflected on these questions, I realised that I appreciate learning opportunities, having a set of hobbies that is completely different from the work I do, having social interactions for my career :D 

10 Questions to Ask to Spark Stimulating Conversations - Inc.

I feel like lockdown & social distancing has robbed some of my ability to socialise & get to know others - so if you're feeling what I'm feeling you might find these questions helpful to kickstart your next conversation :P I love these questions as I think these are not just great conversation starters, but are also great reflection questions for ourselves too :) 
1. What's your story?

2. What absolutely excites you right now?

3. What was the highlight of your day (or week)?

4. What gets you up in the morning?

5. What is your whole reason for existing--your "why"?

6. What's the most important thing I should know about you?

7. Why did you choose your career or line of business?

8. What is one of your most defining moments in life?

9. What's the best thing that's happened to you this year?

10. When's the last time you failed spectacularly at something?

Forget About SMART Goals: 5 Unconventional Goal Setting Methods to Try Instead - doist

(Disclaimer: a lot of goals listed here still operate like a SMART goal)

I love these strategies listed in this article! A lot of time, goal-setting feels overwhelming to me, with that nagging feeling of "you have to do x and y!".  If you're like me, you find want to try out some of these strategies! 

1. Anti-Goals

What are things that might hamper you from achieving your goals? 
Eg: rather than telling yourself not to procrastinate, why not try setting an anti-goal of "not spending time on the phone more than 10 minutes during work" etc. 

2) Micro-goals

Micro-goals are simply your goals, broken down into bite-sized chunks

I love micro-goals. They help me build habits and gives me a better sense of accomplishment. I've been setting micro-goals for some of my day-to-day goals so that it's much more attainable :) (eg: reading one paragraph per day, rather than reading a chapter per day, because some days things can be so overwhelming and you really don't feel like doing anything. But one paragraph is still doable on those days!) 

3) Having a theme

Setting up a theme can help you work consciously towards what you want - be it health, learning, growth. 

I've never tried this before and I'm now curious to set up a monthly theme. I'd want my April to be a month of health, where I'd want to cut down on my sugar and alcohol consumption :P 

4) Change of environment

"You are what you eat"
"You are who you hang out with"

Sounds familiar? Well because your environment largely dictates your habits. 
If you want to achieve your goal of being healthy, it'd be helpful to keep your environment free of junk food. Want to learn how to speak a certain language? Surround yourself with those who speak the language you'd want to practice. 

Which of these habits is keeping you from being a great communicator? - TED

I've got to admit - I'm guilty of these habits at times. Here are the four habits detailed in the article:

1. Looking good 

Do you sometimes give out a "hard to impress" vibe? Do you wait impatiently for the other person to finish speaking so that you can assert your point (and you usually start with an "anyway...")? Do you sometimes redirect a conversation from the other party to yourself? 

For example, let’s say I enthuse, “We’re so excited to be going to Greece on holiday this year.” The competitive speaker will jump in with, “Oh yes, I’ve been to Greece six times and I love it!” My feeling: deflation. My joy has been made to look second-rate.
These habits here might be a kill-joy - it might put an end to the conversation, as these habits sap the joy out of the conversation for the other party!

2. Being right

We all have the desire to be right - but this desire to be right may sabotage our relationship.
The need to be right can arise from a fear of being disrespected. Or it may come out of the fear of being seen as we really are, as flawed human beings who are perfectly imperfect and full of contradictions and confusions. 

3. People pleasing

Do you say yes when you don't intend to because you're worried about what the other people might think of you? This robs your speech of power.

4. Fixing

Trying to "fix" emotions - saying phrases like "Don’t cry” or “Don’t be upset” is a leech, as sometimes people need to be upset and to express their grief, sadness, anger or other strong negative emotions.

I cringed reading the examples - they all sounded so familiar, especially on "Looking Good" - I often catch myself saying "anyway...", as a way to divert the conversation. I wonder if I am falling under the trap of wanting to talk about myself too much, and "looking good"? Being aware is the first step, being aware is the first eradicate some of these habits of mine. 


That's it for this month's sharing - now I shall live April as the month...of health :P 

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Monthly Goal Review: February 2021

A super late post, because life has been kinda uninspiring lately. I've been finding myself lamenting about how tired and stretched I feel. 

I realised that I tend to put off writing my reflections whenever I go through this 'meh' phase, however writing these reflections posts actually helps me feel better, as it helps me really reflect on what I've done, what I can work on for the next month, and keep myself accountable to my goals. 

Better late than never, better late than never. 

Financial Goals 

1) Save at least 40% of my income every month 

Since it was lockdown most of the time, I managed to save quite a bit, and found myself spending more on groceries! Bought quite a lot of cooking & baking ingredients :) 

Also have been spending a little more on takeouts/dine-in towards the end of the month, when dine-ins were allowed because...I think the lockdown lethargic kicked in. 

2) Establish a side income stream

OBVIOUSLY, nothing happened again. 

Am I disappointed at myself? Yes. But I'll try my best not to beat myself up too much. I signed up as a delivery driver on Lalamove - but I realised it is really hard to accept a job, especially if you're not a motorcycle driver :O (or maybe I didn't try hard enough) 

3) Invest at least 20% of my income

Yes, it's automated, but I'm keeping it here to keep myself accountable! 

Personal Growth / Learnings

1) Listen to at least one podcast every day

In other to ensure that I take away something from the podcasts, I tried logging down learnings from the podcasts BUT I realised this sort of backfired - it worked for the first half of the month, but during the second half of the month, I got tired of logging my learnings and I realised that this exercise made me dread listening to podcasts, simply because I've conditioned myself to log down my learning after every podcast.

So what I am putting in place now is keeping a tracker on my bullet journal - and jotting down my key learnings at the end of the day when I feel like it. So far I find that this method is working better for me :) 

I've shared some of my key learnings from the podcast in my February 2021 Good Reads/Podcasts/Videos post :)

2) Read at least one paragraph of non-fiction/fiction every day

For the month of February, I've only managed to complete one book. I blame it on the shorter month :P 

3) Participate in at least one online events and/or online courses every month

For the month of February, I've completed: 

1. Learning How to Learn by McMaster University & University of California San Diego

2. Psychological First Aid by Johns Hopkins University

Managed to complete quite a bit of learning, thanks to my accountability partner at work :D somehow, it made me motivated to learn, and I look forward to the start/end of the week where we share our learning with each other :D

I really enjoyed the Learning How to Learn course - I find the tips/strategies this course shared are very applicable even to me as a working adult because, let's face it we all learn anywhere, anytime. 

Some tips/strategies I've learnt which I plan to incorporate in my daily learnings are:

- to always re-read your answers because if you're not doing so, you're not engaging a part of your brain

(ahem a reminder to me to re-read my blog post before publishing)

- to imagine yourself as the material you're learning

I do highly recommend that course :)

4) Cook/Bake at least one dish per week

Week 1: I made pork hamburger from scratch (yes, including the bun and patty :)), with a side of portobello fries & kale chips!
Week 2: Chinese Hamburger (Rou Jia Mo), Sourdough bagel + Asian pulled pork + Bakwa
Week 3: Korean fried chicken, Tahini rye chocolate chip Cookies & biang biang noodles
Week 4: Stir fried gochujang and cheese udon & seeded sourdough loaf (though as you can didn't rise as much as I wished it did)
Week 5: Chicken Paprikash (inspired by WandaVision!) & Beef Nikomi Udon

That isn't so bad, ain'it? 
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