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Top 10 Time Management Tips

Time Management The Short Advice

Time Management Tips

In the spirit of effective time management, we’ve created a top ten list to save you time researching. So, if there had to be an eleventh tip it would probably be ‘Make The Short Advice Your Homepage’… Time management goes hand in hand with productivity and efficiency, and in our article on SMART goals, we stress the importance of being time-based. So if your goals are to be completed within a particular time frame, then you’ll need to be able to manage your time effectively. Give these ten tips a try and find out what works for you!

1. Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

The overwhelming pressure of a fast-approaching deadline can kill productivity. But, the less time you spend worrying about all of the things you’ll never get done, the more time you leave yourself to get those things done. Time management 101. Of course, it’s not always as simple as it sounds – some tasks are harder than others. But the big message here, is to utilise the time that you do have. Even if it seems impossible, negativity won’t get the job done.

2. Set Goals

Goal-setting is an important consideration on the ‘Road to Success‘. It allows you to create pathways towards achieving your desired outcome, and prompts you to develop systems in which to get there. Goals also help to motivate you. And, when it comes to time management, motivation can be the difference between productivity and procrastination. So, ask yourself the questions – “Why am I doing all of this? Where do I want it to lead?”

3. Plan

For each goal you set, there will be a series of actions that you must take in order to achieve that goal. Consider each of these actions/tasks, and schedule them into your calendar. You don’t need to be too regimented, unless you’re in a highly regimented role. For each task that you identify, consider whether they could be broken down further. In doing this, you’ll be able to create smaller, more achievable tasks. All of a sudden, your goals will become less daunting.

4. Prioritise

Not all tasks are created equal… Identify the most important tasks at the beginning of each week/day. In doing this, you will allow yourself some extra time just incase you need to bump some of the ‘less-important’ tasks. You might even consider using a ‘traffic lights’ rating system when you are creating your schedule. Your ‘red’ high-priority tasks should be scheduled for completion first, and your ‘green’ low-priority tasks can be completed towards the end of the day/week. Managing for the best outcome, with the time you have been allocated = good time management.

5. Be Realistic

Planning is important. But an unrealistic plan is useless. Well, not completely… It would provide the basis for a few hard lessons, thats for sure. When you’re setting goals, you need to consider whether your goals are achievable. Now, anything is possible of course. But difficulty, time-allowance, discipline, motivation… These things are all variable factors that must be considered. So, what is it that you want? What do you need to do to get there? What are you willing to do to get there? When do you expect to get there? These are just a few important questions to ponder before settling on a plan.

6. Focus on the Present

Similar to the first point, this tip simply means to operate in the ‘now’. You are no good to anybody when you’re stressing about the future. Instead, focus on creating the future that you want to live in. Time management is all about being where you are, and utilising whatever time you do have. So, be grateful that you do have the power to impact your future, and put your skills to work now. This will ensure that you’ve given yourself the best chance at achieving your outcomes in the time-frame allowed.

7. Set Timings

For each task that you undertake, give yourself a time-frame in which to complete it. It doesn’t have to be a strict deadline a such, but it’s a great way to manage your expectations. You’ll start to learn more about the duration of particular tasks, and your set-times will become more realistic and achievable. It can also help to improve your efficiency. If a task that you expect to have completed has not been completed in the time you’ve set, re-think and refine your process.

8. Don’t Procrastinate

Procrastination is the enemy of productivity and good time management. It’s super fun though! Who doesn’t want to practice their signature on the back of a scrap piece of paper for hours, or scan instagram until their eyeballs turn red!? On that note, turn off your social media notifications right now. Or at least when you’re working. For more strategies to avoid procrastination, checkout our article ‘Procrastination vs Productivity‘.

9. Eliminate Distractions

It’s easy to become distracted. Thats why you need to remove yourself from distraction as best you can. Firstly, consider the location of your work space. Is it a place that is conducive to hard work and productivity? If you’re trying to get work done in your bed, and you keep falling asleep… well, need we say anymore? Secondly, consider your work space itself. Clean and minimal is generally a good strategy, free from anti-time management gadgets and gizmos. Of course, everyone is different, so find what works best for you.

10. Re-Focus

Perhaps you’ve tried all of our tips to stay on task, and have still found yourself distracted and wasting time. Well… go away. That’s right! Give yourself a 5 minute break to do something that energises you, and helps you to regain your focus. Maybe reading, maybe crosswords, maybe a quick bit of exercise. Whatever it is, go and do it for a short, timed period. Hopefully, you’ll return to work task-focused and motivated to achieve success.

Final Note

Everyone is different, and there is no one solution to help you become an efficient time manager. In fact, there isn’t ten solutions! The only way these tips will be effective is if you have the discipline and desire to improve… As always, thanks for reading and we’d love to hear what you’ve got to add in the comments section below.

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DIY Woodworking: 6 Essential Tips To Get You Started

Melbourne Timberworks The Short Advice

About the Author

Melbourne Timberworks was founded by Tristan as a result of his many successful DIY woodworking projects. Entirely self-taught, Tristan sources his timber from local suppliers and has built just about every piece of furniture you can think of, for both commercial and domestic clients (you can check some out some of his work here). Today, he is here to share his advice on ‘starting your own workshop’, and some considerations and challenges of the DIY woodworking environment. So, please give it up for Melbourne Timberworks and woodworking guru, Tristan!

Starting a DIY Woodworking Venture

Aside from the mental health benefits of pursuing a hobby, woodworking is just great fun! But, when you’ve got a new and exciting idea in your head, it can often infect your bank account too… It’s tempting to want to spend every last cent in your wallet on the best and fanciest new tool or piece of equipment. That new tool feel is great, don’t get me wrong, but what you really need is the right balance of value and reliability (without living out of a cardboard box). So, aim for mid-range priced equipment for your humble DIY woodworking beginnings. Generally, you do get what you pay for, so whilst you can’t yet afford the best, don’t cheap out and get the worst either! Either way you’re bound to make mistakes, and there will be a few breakages along the way. But slowly, as you get better, you can update your tools to match your capabilities. You never know, you might even be able to start selling your work… But before we get too far along, here are my ‘6 Essential DIY Woodworking Tips’.

1. Gumtree is Your Best Friend.

You’ll probably need a work table for your garage or home workshop. But there’s just no need for a brand new, polished bench. Check the likes of Gumtree and eBay before you take the trip to a department store. Theres a heap of perfectly good used tables that you can use for your projects here. You might also be able to pick up a few tools. However, be wary of buying second-hand power-tools. For a beginner, it can be difficult to know the condition they’re in, and if they’ve been cared for correctly.

2. Test Things First.

Don’t rush. Trust me, there’s time for some testing before you rip into the ‘good copy’. Whether you love to paint, or building furniture is your passion, never try something new on the actual project itself. You wouldn’t serve your cooking before you’ve tasted it, right? So, take the time to develop your skills first. This way, you’ll avoid making mistakes with expensive materials, and possibly destroying hours of your hard work. Yes, practice can be a bit tedious… But remember, ‘if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly’.

3. It’s Your Space.

Set up a space dedicated to your DIY interests. It’s a good idea to have all the equipment in one area and in the same room. Everything within a few steps will work, especially if you need to get things in a hurry. Setting up a space also allows you to “close a door” on your work. It’s important to switch off for a moment and to be away from your projects so you don’t over exhaust yourself, and lose motivation. In doing this, you’ll train yourself to be productive as soon as you step into your DIY woodworking space.

4. Be Safe.

There’s nothing worse than starting a DIY project only to end up injuring yourself. Those ads on TV are not for your comedic relief. Be smart. Make sure you have the required safety equipment. Gloves, glasses, proper footwear and clothing can be the difference between coming out unscathed or making a trip to the hospital!

5. Youtube is Your Second Best Friend.

A very close second I might add… Your DIY woodworking doesn’t have to be an entirely solo project. You can invite the help of professionals from all around the globe to be your personal instructor, on your mobile phone! You can pause them, rewind them and fast forward through all the boring parts! It’s like school, except you only have to turn up for the bits you need, and only when you need them.

6. Have Fun.

This is probably the most important tip of them all. Sometimes projects start off really fun, but then as you progress through them you start to feel frustrated and tired. You start to rush to finish your masterpiece, and it doesn’t always turn out as you’d hoped. Take a step back and remember that you started because of your passion for woodworking, and that frustration is because you care. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to put the tools and equipment down for a while.

Final Note…

Trying new things can be challenging! But that doesn’t mean you should quit… I’m grateful that I persisted through the early stages of the DIY woodworking process. The skills that I have developed now give me the freedom to create whatever I want.

Thanks very much for taking the time to read my guest post for The Short Advice. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to respond to them in the comments section below. Don’t forget to check out Melbourne Timberworks here.

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Get Rich Quick With These 3 Simple Methods

Get Rich Quick The Short Advice

Get Rich Quick!

Do you want to know how to get rich quick? It’s simple. There are a number of ways, but we’ve done the research for you, so that you can stop trawling the internet and clicking on popups that claim to have the answer. So, without further prolonging your new-found substantial wealth, here is our shortlist of the top three ways to make some quick cash!

1. Win the Lottery.

The odds are stacked against you. You will still have all of the problems you had before you were rich. You will not have experienced any great personal development. BUT, in the off chance you do win, you’ll be totally rich. And it will have happened really, really, quickly. That’s why we’ve listed this method as our number one way to get rich quick. 

2. Stage an Injury and Sue for Compensation.

Your friends and family will be embarrassed to associate with you, and society will shun you for your immoral get-rich-quick methods, but oh, the riches. You’ll take some large multi-national corporation and squeeze them so hard with the help of your shady legal team that they’ll be begging you to settle. You’ll have enough money to buy new friends, and even a new family if they take too long to come around. 

3. Knock Over a Casino with 10 of Your Best Friends.

You wouldn’t be the first one to try it, but at least you know that it can be done. George Clooney (as Danny Ocean) has already mapped out the plan for you. Not only will you steal more money than you can jump over, but you’ll also be part of a loving and caring criminal brotherhood (or sisterhood). Stealing from the sickeningly wealthy and getting off scot-free? If you can think of a downside to all of that, we’d love to hear it.

Other Less-Exciting and Longer Methods to Make Money.

Perhaps you’ve got something against making money, and/or you prefer to grind it out? Just for you, we’ve compiled a supplementary list of ways to get rich quick. However, these methods may not be as quick as you’d hoped. They may not bring you the sort of fortune that would make you traditionally wealthy either. So what is the appeal? Well, it’s got a little bit to do with that old theory you’ve heard before about money and happiness. It’s also got something to do with journeys and destinations. Without giving away too much, here is our list of the 3 ways to get rich quick, a little less quickly:

1. Make Your Passion Your Purpose.

Find something you love to do and use it to enrich your life, and the lives of others. You’ll be giving yourself the best chance at success simply by applying yourself in an area you are passionate about. Turning your passion into your purpose will motivate you to strive for success, and money will start to take a back seat to the sense of purpose you have created for yourself. The gratitude that you experience as a result of helping others will continue to drive your success, AND be a measure of your success at the same time. And thats why purpose is the currency that buys happiness, not money. 

2. Map Out A Plan.

If you already have a plan, you’re giving yourself a massive edge of everyone who doesn’t. Being specific in defining your road to success is imperative. This will help you to track your progress with measurable and time-based short term goals. If you’re familiar with SMART goals, then you know exactly what we’re on about. Your goals don’t all have to be financial ones, but sometimes it can be helpful. Less about money, and more about numbers – they can be a handy measure of success because they’re specific. So, if you haven’t already done so, take some time to create a visual representation of your road to success.

3. Commit to the Journey.

Make a plan and follow it. But if it doesn’t return the result you’re looking for, review it. Your plan might grow and develop, but don’t change your goal simply because it is seemingly difficult to reach. If it weren’t difficult, it wouldn’t be worth attaining. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. The ‘good life’ is in such high demand because it is in short supply, meaning that it is difficult to attain. By committing to your journey towards success, you are making a promise to yourself… Whatever the circumstances, no matter how trying it becomes, you will adapt. Your failures/mistakes will become valuable lessons. Your journey towards success will be inspiring and motivating in itself. And here is where we finish with cliche number two: It’s more about the journey than the destination. If you believe this, you will be successful every single day that you are pursuing your goals. 

Final Note.

Incase you didn’t pick up on the sarcastic tone at the beginning of this article, stop trying to get rich quick! It won’t bring you happiness, and you won’t add value to the lives of those around you. Don’t burn people to get ahead, don’t put yourself ahead of everyone else’s needs. Just find something you love to do, and do it. Not for money, but to enrich lives, including your own. It’s all part of the happiness exchange

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Building Resilience And Self-Confidence: The Military Perspective.

The Short Advice Army Man Flag

About This Article…

This week we’ve been lucky enough to interview active military personnel to quiz them on resilience and self-confidence. We’ve gained a good insight into some of the practices used in the military designed to build resilience and confidence, and how it applies to everyday people too. So, lets start by looking at how resilience and self-confidence is valued in the military.

What does the military know about resilience and confidence that we don’t?

Resilience and confidence are two of the strongest fundamentals of a well-rounded capable person. They feed and strengthen each other when either is high, but can also negatively affect other aspects of your life when either is low. The effort of building, maintaining and exuding both resilience and confidence is therefore necessary to success. Without confidence, would you have the guts to approach your future husband/wife at a bar? And what if you did have the confidence to speak and are promptly rejected? Would you be resilient enough to speak to another potential date?

A Brief History of Resilience and Confidence in Militaries.

Militaries have understood the importance of resilience and confidence for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. For all of recorded history, civilisations have depended on their armies to either protect them from hostile civilisations or to further their interests by invading others. The Romans would not have been the powerhouse they once were and held influence over the known world without a strong, resilient and confident army. All those that faced battle did so with resilience to brace them against their fears and marched with the understanding and confidence that they and their colleagues had the skills to defeat their enemies. So, what did The Roman armies, and every other successful military, do in common to ensure their people had the resilience and confidence required to make important decisions, do difficult things and risk their lives to win victory for their family, friends and fellow countrymen?

All Armies Share Three Basic Techniques to Toughen Their Soldiers into Confident, Resilient War-Fighters:

1. Rigorous Physical Training.

Have you ever worked out to the point where you feel like you’re going to be sick or pass out? It’s a feeling that most of us can relate to, we’ve worked particularly hard that day and now we’re ready for a rest. Most modern militaries utilise Physical Training (PT) to push their personnel past their previous levels of strength and endurance not only to improve them physically, but also to improve them mentally. Mental toughness is significantly more valuable to a soldier and the military than physical toughness. Interestingly, rigorous PT that stretches you beyond what you thought was your capacity pushes more mental boundaries than anything else. You can almost always work harder than you think you can. So get working. This will make difficult things seem easier and therefore make you more resilient against hard work and leave you confident in your abilities. Checkout these bootcamp programs to start pushing your limits today.

“Why do I have to carry these jerry cans for five kilometres?” “Because, I said so!”

2. Military Exercises and Tasks.

Practicing the rigours of being on a military campaign – going out into the field, camping, eating rations and enduring harsh climates – is exhausting. It is here that you can build a real confidence in your ability to withstand the harsh realities of warfare. Obviously, not everyone will partake in military exercises within their lifetime, but essentially the underlying message here is, learn to live outside of your comfort zone. All of us inadvertently seek the ‘easy way’, the path of least resistance, but more often than not, that is not the path that is actually most beneficial to us.
Get out of your comfort zone, try something you find difficult and relish the challenge. If you fail, take a different approach and try again. This will help you to build resilience and prove that life’s challenges are often the biggest rewards.

“Why are you so upset? There was only a little bit of dust!” “How can I expect you to protect your team mates if you can’t even be trusted to dust your room properly?”

3. Mandatory Shared Accommodation.

Who likes privacy? Everyone. The hot tip: there is very little to no privacy in initial military training. For many new recruits, living amongst a bunch of other new recruits means being ripped away from family, friends, comfort zones and essentially, all previous support networks and being placed into what can seem like a hostile environment. It is uncomfortable, stressful and frustrating, which is entirely the point. Learning to self-manage and problem solve by yourself, as well as with others, is an important skill. Military training teaches this through simply separating you from how you’ve always problem solved or managed your life. By suddenly altering your lifestyle, you are put in a sink or swim situation that requires your immediate attention.

“How am I supposed to get to sleep when my bunk-mate snores?” “Figure it out.”

B.L.U.F (Bottom Line Up Front)

(Yes, that was some military lingo that we picked up along the way). The point of all this stress and frustration is designed to build resilience. So many of the ‘pointless tasks’ required of soldiers in training are not pointless at all. They build resilience, cohesion amongst the team and give the instructors confidence that their soldiers can operate as required, when required, as opposed to when the soldiers feel like it. Bottom line, push yourself to solve problems in ways you wouldn’t normally. Put yourself in difficult (albeit safe) situations and test yourself. Avoid using the support networks you normally use and test your abilities when under stress. And the best part is that all of this can take place in everyday life too, outside of the military.

As always thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.