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The crucial skill in today’s business world is surely the ability to work really fast. The problem is though that too often when people try to get things done quickly their quality of work really suffers.
So how can you double the speed at which you work and still keep your work quality high? Try these 4 techniques:
1. Use A Timer On Every Major Task
One of the most pertinent concepts in business is Parkinson’s Law, which states that “Work expands to fill the time allotted for it”. If you leave the amount of time you’ll devote to a task open ended, then you will almost always take more time to complete it. Conversely, if you set a clear amount of time to do each task, you’ll work far more rapidly, as you attempt to beat the clock.
As an added bonus, if you challenge yourself like this you will more often experience Flow, the state identified by the esteemed human performance expert Professor Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi as strongly correlated with feelings of well being. In other words, you’ll not only be much more effective you’ll be happier too.
2. Pretend Your Day Ends At 11am
Each morning when you start work, behave as though you can no longer work past 11am. If you knew you had to go home at that point, yet you still wanted to achieve some really worthwhile jobs, what would you do? Create a small list then start on those important tasks immediately. The 11am technique works brilliantly because it forces you to take action quickly on what really counts.
The average person has done virtually nothing of consequence by 11am: they have chatted with their co-workers, checked their emails, grabbed a coffee and perhaps planned their day. They then complain they don’t have enough time to get their job done! Start fast and you’ll be amazed what you can achieve by 11am.
3. Work At Home For An Hour Each Day
In most companies the corporate offices are not actually good environments for getting work done. The interruptions are constant, the emails ever growing and with most open plan offices the noise is often agitating. You would have to have the concentration levels of a Chess Grandmaster to achieve a lot in such a situation. To counteract this problem, allocate 60 minutes each morning to working quietly at home, getting as many tasks as possible done before you journey into work. Put your focus on tasks that demand quality thinking time and push yourself to get as much done as possible. Only then should you head into your office. Try this simple technique for 2 weeks and you’ll be stunned by how much more speedily you get things done.
4. Try To Do Unimportant Tasks Within Ten Minutes
You will never reach a high state of achievement if you give the same time importance to tasks of low value as you give to those of high value. Yet so many people do exactly this. Numerous times a day they give trivial tasks more time than they rightly deserve, then find they are short of time to get the crucial stuff done.
You must get through those unimportant jobs at break neck speed – do them only well enough that people don’t complain. The work day is just too short and your To Do List just too long for you to give trivia more than the bare minimum of time. Several times a day set yourself the goal of getting this unimportant stuff done in ten minutes or less. This technique alone can often give you an extra 90 minutes a day.
How much faster could you work than you are currently doing? I think many people could literally double what they get done each week. These four techniques are a great start to helping you achieve the super high level of effectiveness that we are all capable of.
“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”
I finally learned I wasn’t Superman.
It was a hard concept for me to grasp. You see, I was always the good child. The one that did everything without complaint or supervision. I was the one who didn’t need help in school, who knew how to plan, who did the chores without having to be asked twice.
As I grew older this idea that I was “the good child/person” grew. My grades had to be perfect. My work had to be perfect. I had to interact perfectly with everyone I met.
Needless to say, this drive to perfection caused me a lot of stress. Stress to the point that I was literally pulling my hair out. I know you see that on cartoons and things, but it happened to me for real.
I didn’t even know I was doing it until one day I looked in the mirror after my shower and saw a bald spot. I had combed over it for so long without even consciously realizing it was there.
I knew I had to do something after that. I had to change something. I wanted to just give up. After all, if I couldn’t be prefect, then what was the point of it all?
I cycled into depression, but even this depression did not lessen my drive to be perfect. I made it look like I was doing fine. I went to work every day, did my home things, and even interacted on a superficial level with those around me.
After a while of this hollow existence, I started to become angry. Why did no one see I was hurting? Why was there no reaction to this change?
I slowly ground to a screeching, sputtering stop as circumstances in my life piled up: the death of a family member, the illness of another, my car getting totaled, my job on the edge.
Boom, boom, boom. One right after another.
Nothing was perfect now, and I could not see any way to make it perfect. It was hopeless, all of it.
So, at last, I gave up on being perfect.
At first, it seemed strange to me. Leaving things unfinished. Doing things halfway. Not going out of my way to make everything seem okay. I thought the world would fall apart. But it didn’t.
Other people took up the slack. Things that I thought were vital went undone without consequence. Not working at 110 percent did not make the world come crashing down around my head.
Hesitantly, I started to look around. I started doing things that were fun for me instead of things that needed to be done. I said no when people asked for help. I left dishes in the sink and trash in the can. I ate out instead of cooking. I ate what I wanted and not what I thought was right. I watched TV when I wanted and slept when I wanted and didn’t worry about what I should be doing instead.
And you know what?
Shockingly, there was little difference in my life between working hard and enjoying it. Little difference to others. However, it was a big difference to my mental health. I discovered I could do more with less. Less work, less stress, less perfection.
I could enjoy life without being perfect.
I am not saying that my change did not cause conflict. My family was not pleased with the sudden upsurge in their workload. Those little things I always did were now undone. If they wanted it done they had to do it themselves.
The little things they took for granted suddenly became scarce and my ever helpful and always consistent presence became something that had to be requested rather than relied upon.
It was empowering to say no. To be out of touch. To be enjoying myself without guilt or stress.
I found out that I could now enjoy and even look forward to things that had previously stressed me out. That every experience was not a chance to screw up but a chance to learn something new. That doing new things was good, even if I wasn’t good at them at first.
It’s great to strive toward excellence, but it’s not worth stressing about perfection. If you’d like to take a page from my book and learn to enjoy being imperfect:
1. Accept that perfection is unreachable.
No one can possibly be perfect; that is what makes us human. However, you have to not only accept that you will not be perfect, but also be happy that being imperfect makes you different than everyone else. Being perfect would make everyone identical. Our imperfections are what make us unique and special in this world.
2. Say no.
When you are trying to be perfect, it’s hard to tell people no. You want to make them perfectly happy. You want to be the perfect spouse, sibling, or friend. However, taking on more and more things does not make you more perfect or even a better person. It only makes you more stressed.
Saying no is not only good for your mental health, but it is good for others as well. Many times people will have to deal with their own issues, which will make them grow into stronger human beings. If you had helped them, they would not have had the chance to grow.
3. Try new things, even if you fail.
Being a perfectionist, it’s hard to get the guts up to try something you have never done before in the fear that you will be less than perfect at it. However, that’s the fun of trying something new! You get to learn and grow and become more than what you were before. Staying stagnant is not healthy for anyone. Embrace your mistakes and learn something new.
4. Let some things go.
We prioritize things that are not really important. Will you remember doing the dishes, or having fun with your friends? Will you remember filing, or having a great conversation with your coworker?
When you learn to let the unimportant things go, you have more time for what really matters. You also have more time to do what is fun for you instead of only doing what ‘needs’ to be done.
5. Prioritize what makes you happy.
Life is more than work and chores and making it through one day after another. If you feel like you are working and moving but never enjoying or accomplishing anything, you may need to take a step back and reevaluate what you are doing with your life.
Being stressed all the time is no way to live. Instead, try to enjoy your life. Prioritize those things and people that make you happy.
Stressing out about perfection is a useless endeavor. Perfection is impossible for us, so why do we make ourselves sick over it?
I have learned to abandon perfection and focus on enjoy life every day. This has greatly reduced my stress, increased my happiness, and made me the kind of person I would want to be friends with.
Finish this sentence: “Before I launch a new product, send my resume to a potential employer, or finalize a speech to deliver in front of the whole company, I want to make sure it’s ____.”
Maybe you said “engaging” or “spell-checked” or “approved by my boss.”
But my guess is that the majority of you finished that sentence with the same word: “perfect.”
As humans, the need to strive for perfection is ingrained in us. You can see it in the way we look up to successful people: We expect the people we hold in high regard—like managers, CEOs, or political candidates—to be perfect, without a single flubbed answer or ill-conceived business decision.
So it’s no wonder that when you’re striving to be successful, you’re simultaneously striving for perfection.
Which is a big, fat waste of time.
Why? To start, everyone have a different definition of perfection, making it impossible to actually be perceived as perfect by everyone.
In addition, think again about those people you hold in high regard. When you do see them behaving perfectly, it generally makes you feel less connected to them, rather than more connected.
As Michael Bosworth and Ben Zoldan say in What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story, “As ironic as it seems, we trust people more when they’re willing to expose themselves as imperfect … We don’t connect with perfection, we connect with people who have been there.”
However, taking away the pressure of perfection doesn’t mean you can show up, say and do whatever you want, and expect to be successful. How can you switch your focus from perfection to vulnerability, while still aiming for serious awesomeness? Here are my three tips.
1. Understand Your Own Definition of Perfection
Each time you sit down to complete a new project, ask yourself: “What does being ‘perfect’ mean to me in this situation?”
You’ll probably have a few realistic and fair goals wrapped under the perfection umbrella—like making sure your cover letter is free of spelling mistakes and includes targeted messaging for the job you’re applying for.
But, your definition of perfection might also include a few sneaky goals that are unattainable or totally out of your control, like “Make the employer like me better than any of the other candidates.”
Once you understand what perfect means to you in each individual situation, you can start to evaluate how important each goal is and how much it will actually influence your success (and realize that you may not be able to achieve “perfection” in every aspect—and that’s totally OK).
2. Get to Know the People You’re Trying to Be Perfect For
When you’re focused on being perfect, it’s easy to spend all of your time in your own head—figuring out how to make yourself look better in the eyes of your customer, boss, or future employer. But in order to create something really excellent that those people feel connected to, you need to place the emphasis on them.
If you’re about to launch a product, for instance, step away from the product itself and dig into the people you’re building that product for. What problems do they need solved? What are their values? What can you build or write that will surprise and delight them? How can you communicate that product, resume, cover letter, or other assignment in a way that will cause them to stop and really listen?
Those are the things you should be focusing on.
3. Explore Ways to Bring More Openness and Vulnerability to Your Work
Let’s say you’re writing a speech. Instead of lobbing statistic after statistic at your audience, share a personal story. If you’re working on your resume, include bits of your personality along with your credentials—from the words you use to the way you design it. (Here are some things you probably didn’t know you could include.)
And if you do make a mistake in the moment—like flub a line during your speech or fumble over your words during an interview—cop to it. Be human about it. Own up it in a lighthearted, we’ve-all-been-there way, and move on. Those are the moments the rest of us humans most connect to.
Brené Brown, a researcher and one of my favorite authors, once wrote, “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
Vulnerability may feel uncomfortable, but at the end of the day, learning how to be vulnerable will put you more ahead of the game—in both your life and business—than striving for perfection ever will.
John Maynard Keynes, a famous economist in the 1930’s, predicted that his grandchildren would have a three-hour workday. Sadly, it did not happen–In fact, we now have the reverse! Organizations are looking for ways to do more with less, the population is aging, and the pace of work is increasing.
When Zenger Folkman polled a group of more than 1,600 leaders, 81% felt they are often expected to move faster and do more. In the chart below you can see the perceived number of “hurry up” messages executives receive every year. A Harvard Business Review study found that in the 1970s executives received about 1,000 messages per year. If you contrast that with the 30,000 messages executives received in the 2010s, you can see the expectations emerging through more than 120 messages per workday. Clearly, there is a great need for speed in today’s workplace.
As organizations look at the competition and shorting deadlines there is a great need for increased speed. In our survey, we asked respondents about the impact of increased speed. When we looked at the data we examined the differences by position (e.g., Top, Senior, Middle, and Supervisors).
While the majority of each group realized the value of increased speed, the Top leaders saw the need more clearly with 79% agreeing with the statement.
Assessing Your Speed
We created a self-assessment to evaluate an individual’s pace. We have found that the assessment provides a valid estimate of an individual’s pace. The self-assessment results are positively correlated with the feedback from others on pace (.50 Pearson Correlation) and with an activity assessment (.51 Pearson Correlation). From the data that we have gathered, we are understanding that the pace individuals keep tends to increase with age. The graph below shows gender differences by age and it is evident that while females start their work-life with a faster pace males tend to overtake them in their 40’s. Note that as people age the pace tends to slow down.
Breaking the pace assessment results out by position revels that top management tend to have the fastest pace scoring at the 60 th percentile and individual contributors a much slower pace scoring at the 40 th percentile.
To get a better sense of your individual pace click here and take the self-assessment. The Pace Assessment measures a leader’s ability to spot problems or trends early, to respond to problems quickly, and to swiftly make needed changes. From this assessment I learned some very interesting things about the power of speed:
- Leaders in the top speed quartile were rated as much more effective leaders.
- Leaders in the top speed quartile had direct reports who were more engaged.
- Leadership who exhibits the combination of doing things and doing things right rank in the 96% percentile for being extraordinary leaders.
How do I increase my pace without becoming frantic?
Now that I’ve established the importance of speed I want to be clear: I am not encouraging you to run around your office and make people uncomfortable. One of my greatest findings as a behavioral statistician was the use of companion competencies. When bosses tell employees to improve, they will typically seek linear ways to become better. For example, to improve your interpersonal skills you may try to talk more, read a book on the subject, or attend a class. But I have found that every competency is statistically correlated with companion competencies that help to improve people in a “non-linear” way. By looking at the leaders who are in the 90 th percentile of effectiveness I’m able to examine the behaviors that got them there. To increase speed, I have found eight companion behaviors that will help individuals improve their ability to anticipate problems, address issues, and move forward quickly. Here they are:
- Be Innovative. The old system may not be the most efficient. Take the time to see if the answer involves developing something new.
- Be strategic. Understanding the vision and strategy are not just key components to doing things fast, but doing them right.
- Be courageous. Leaders who are fast don’t waste time worrying or mulling over choices. There make decisions quickly and stand by them.
- Be focused on stretch goals. Stretch goals push people to accomplish more than they thought they could.
- Be a powerful communicator. People can move faster when they are absolutely clear about their instructions.
- Be externally focused. This perspective increases speed because leaders become aware of the competition, recognize other organizations are creating competitive advantage, and see how their products and services compare.
- Be diligent. Leaders who are fast at taking the initiative and get the job done.
- Be smart. Having deep expertise makes everything move faster! If you know how to do the job it is much easier to get it done.
These non-linear behaviors are the keys to building strengths. The good news is that you don’t have to be good at all of these to increase your pace. In fact, you only need to be good at one or two of these abilities to get better. Ask yourself which companion behavior, if done well, would help me be the most successful in my current job? Which behavior do I have the most passion to grow?
To learn more attend my webinar, 8 Ways to Increase Leadership Speed Without Breaking a Sweat, by registering here.
Everyone wishes they had more energy and an ability to think faster, to be smarter, and to have the sharpest wit and best memory possible. But like six-pack abs, a swimsuit body, or a higher college degree, these things do not come free or easily.
The good news is that if you work at it – and you know specifically what to work on – you can make your brain work super-fast.
You can be smarter, remember better, and think faster. Here are five tips that you can start using today to make your brain work better and get more out of your gray and white matter:
1. Boycott Negative Thoughts
Watch the news today and it seems almost impossible to stay positive. We hear upsetting stories all the time, read about how bad the economy is, check our social media to see crass, negative jokes, and then get stuck listening to mean gossip around the water cooler.
The problem is that not only does all this negativity bring you down, pulling you into an emotional dump, but it also has a direct impact on your brain’s ability to function at its best (Radwan, n.d.).
Negative emotions depress your brain and make it work more slowly. It actually disrupts your thinking process (Radwan, n.d) and your ability to focus. The answer – be positive. Boycott negative thoughts.
How do you do this? Here are a few ways. Make positive thinking a priority in your life, walking away from negative situations and refusing to let bad thoughts in. Look for the good in people and situations, see your glass as half-full rather than half-empty, and your brain will thank you for it.
2. Constantly Practice Memorizing Things
The more you exercise the giant muscle that is your brain, the harder and faster it will work for you. Memorize important facts, such as people’s names or an interesting date in history, every day. Look up a new word and memorize the meaning.
Use mnemonics – memory tricks – to help you remember shopping lists. Practice spelling difficult words like you are in a spelling bee, saying the word out loud, then spelling it out loud, then saying it again. Exercise that muscle between your ears and it will become stronger and faster.
3. Increase Your Coffee Intake
Sigmund Freud used to use cocaine because he said that it made him more productive (PBS, n.d.). Today we know that cocaine is incredibly unhealthy and not at all a good way to increase productivity, but we also know that Freud might have benefited from upping his caffeine intake.
In fact, a study out of Harvard University has demonstrated that caffeine can impact the brain, increasing awareness and wakefulness in the short term. It also can boost memory ability in the long term (Watson, 2014).
The study declared that a moderate intake of caffeine can help you to remember things better and even perform well on memory tests (Watson, 2014). So have a cup of coffee or two with a clear conscious.
4. Consider a Brain Booster
If Einstein could have boosted his brainpower even further, imagine how much more he might have accomplished. Vitamin B12 is a known brain booster and memory helper.
But before you run out and buy B12 supplements, you need to know that B12 has a problem: it is not absorbed well in the stomach. Some researchers have found that sublingual tablets, that is pills meant to be dissolved under the tongue, work better as they are absorbed directly into the mucous membranes, bypassing the stomach.
5. Take Care of Your Body by Working out and Getting Enough Sleep
This may seem mundane, but perhaps the best thing that you can do to improve your memory and all cognitive functions is to exercise regularly and get enough sleep.
When you have a vigorous workout, you do many things to your body and brain, including improving circulation and getting the blood flowing to your brain. This releases endorphins that relieve stress, which, as a result, can help you think better and provides an overall sense of renewed energy.
Sleeping well is, however, paramount. Your brain processes information when you sleep, moving ideas and facts from short-term memory to long-term memory.
So there you have it. Workout, get enough sleep, drink a cup of coffee, be positive, and practice memorizing things every day and you will see a fast improvement in your brain function.
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Sometimes, you have lots of work to do but you realize that time is seriously against you. Maybe you even become so worried that you no longer know where to start. Perhaps you have tried your best but you’ve not been quick enough to complete each task on time and each of them now piles up in front of you. Worry no more. We are here to give you tips on how to do more work within little time.
Sometimes you think all will be fine, the moment you work hard. Well, you aren’t totally wrong. But if you want to do more in little time, you should learn to work smarter, not harder. Enough of the talk, let’s go straight to the tips.
1. Wake up very early
Add more productive hours to your life by rising up very early in the morning to begin the day’s activities. Beginning your day with some tasks will leave you with less work to do later on that day. Set alarm to wake you up very early each day. Aside adding more productive hours to your life, your brain will be fresh and your concentration will be extremely high, so that you can bring out the best in you.
2. Have a to-do list
Have a plan to follow by writing the tasks you want to perform each day. The list will help you in two major ways. No task will skip your mind and it also registers some kind of urgency in your mind by making you realize that you still have plenty things to do. Ensure your to-do list is very practical. Don’t overload the list with tasks that you know you can’t do.
3. Begin with the hard tasks
Start with the tasks that appear most difficult. You should make it a habit to arrange your tasks in the order in which you want to perform them. A lot of people make mistake by beginning with the simple task. When you start with the difficult ones, you will feel so relieved after completing it and hence, it makes you even more productive. Next time you have a number of things to do, begin by eating the frogs you have on your list.
4. Take away all distracting items
Some objects will only slow you down by distracting you. Such objects include; mobile phones, entertainment magazines and many others. You don’t expect to work fast when you keep distracting yourself using items that are not helping you in the work you are doing at that moment. When you have your phone around you while engaged in a serious work, you may be tempted to check your mails, view some posts on social media or reply a friend’s message. All these will slow you down.
5. Reject unnecessary offers that may keep you away from your work
Maybe you have a friend who is always inviting you out for a talk, games or any other trivial thing. You should learn to reject unimportant invitations and outings. Let’s say you have something to write on, and a friend is inviting you for a game, there’s nothing wrong in saying; “I’m sorry I can’t go with you now, I have an essay to write and no one will write my essay for me if I follow you”.
6. Focus your energy on one task
Don’t be switching from task to task. Multitasking will slow you down while giving you the impression that you are moving fast, not until you carefully analyze it. Each time you multitask and your brain switches to a new task, you will have to retrace some things the moment you come back to your previous work. You can even get lost and have to start the task all over again. Instead of doing each work half way, why not devote your time to one task and do it well.
7. Always set deadlines for your tasks
Create a sense of urgency within your mind. Remember you don’t have all day, so you have to set a deadline for each task. An essay writer service for instance, must apply this principle in order to excel in the industry. You should however know that; it’s not enough to only set deadlines. You should develop the habit of strictly working according to your deadline. Make sure you complete your tasks before the time you set.
In a bid to get work done faster, you don’t have to use all the 24 hours you have in each day. What you need is to apply the tips that will help you do more in little time. We all have so many things to do within limited time. The secret of coping well lies in beating the time and not actually reducing the task.
Thanks for sharing!
Jacob is an editor and journalist at EssaysOnTime. The best way for Jacob to express himself is to write. Being passionate about what he does, Jacob likes to discuss stirring events as well as express his opinion about technological advancements and evolution of society. Find Jacob on Facebook.
Image by Catherine Song. © The Balance 2018
If you’re like most people, it’s tough to find a job quickly when you need to. There are some things you can do while hunting that will help you find a job faster. Some of these things are small but can make an enormous difference. Others are significant enough that they can make or break your job search.
Use these tips to see if there’s anything you’re not doing—then give them a try.
Watch Now: Quick Tips to Get Hired Fast
Use the Job Boards Correctly
All the major job boards, such as Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com have an “Advanced Search” option where you can search by keyword, location with a radius, job title, and many other options.
Applying for every job you find isn’t always a good idea—it’s also inefficient. Instead, seek out jobs that match your qualifications. That way, you’ll have a better chance of getting selected for an interview. Before you start job hunting, take the time to decide what type of job you’re seeking.
Come up with a target list of companies you’d like to work for and do your best to get them to notice you.
Focus Your Resume and Keep Applying
You only have a few seconds to impress a hiring manager enough to select you for an interview. Hiring managers want to see what you can do for the company written in your cover letter’s first paragraph.
However, it’s not just your cover letter. Your resume should be edited and tweaked, so it’s as close a match to the job as possible. Otherwise, it may not get picked up by the applicant tracking systems companies use to screen resumes or the recruiter who reviews it.
Avoid the temptation to put decades of work experience on your resume. It dates you and provides too much information. It might also be too much experience for most job openings.
You applied for your dream job, and you didn’t hear anything back from the company. Later, you see the job posted again. A “do-over” is fine, but be sure you’ve carefully matched your qualifications in your resume and cover letter to the job requirements. Also, check LinkedIn to see who you know. You might be able to get a referral the second time around.
When applying for work, the most likely outcome is that you’ll get a lot of rejections before you land a job. Instead of getting discouraged, learn from your mistakes and keep applying until you get the right offer.
Waiting to hear the results from your application or interviews will only extend the length of time your job search takes. Keep applying—the worst thing that can happen is you’ll either be told no or have to juggle multiple job offers.
Your Appearance and Personality
Maybe appearances shouldn’t matter so much, but they do. The first few minutes of an interview are critical for first impressions. Be sure you’ve dressed appropriately for the type of job and company you’re applying to.
Rehearsed answers, fake smiles, and saying what you think the interviewer wants to hear misleads the employer. Employers want to know who they’re hiring, and that’s the person they expect to show up for the first day of work.
One way to show the employer what you’re like is to tell a story. When you’re asked questions, relay the specific skills and experience you have and how you handled the situations you’re asked about. The more factual information you provide, the more the hiring manager will know how qualified you are.
Hiring managers look at your shoes—you might need to polish yours. If your shoes don’t require polish, ensure they are clean and free of scuffs or scratches. It’s important to look your best from head to toe.
Remember Your Interview Etiquette
One of the most common interview mistakes is badmouthing your last boss or co-workers. The first thing the interviewer is going to wonder is what you will say about their company when you’re moving on.
It’s essential to followup after a job interview. It’s a way to show your appreciation for being considered for the job. It’s also a way to reiterate your interest and share anything you neglected during the interview.
Use Your Network and References
Networks are an essential component of a successful job search. Most jobs are found through networking, whether it’s online or in-person. You never know who can help you find your next position unless you tell your connections you’re looking for a job.
References are important, and employers check them. Get recommendations from bosses, coworkers, clients, subordinates and suppliers. Store them on sites like LinkedIn and share them whenever possible. If you’re worried about getting a lousy reference from your supervisor, work on getting some personal references you can add to your credentials.
Be Thorough and Patient
Job hunting can feel as though you’re playing a multitasking game to try to keep up. There’s so much you need to pay attention to when you want to impress a prospective employer.
Before you submit an application online or email a cover letter or thank-you note, make sure to read carefully for typos. In particular, check that you’ve spelled the company and hiring manager’s names correctly.
“You are not perfect. Get over it” is the message I tell myself when I am stressed out over not being superwoman. Yet as much as I tell myself this truth I still fail to embrace the concept fully. It is this trait, the desire for perfection, which causes me great personal angst and anxiety. There is that competing voice in my head saying, “You can do better” or “You are not doing enough.” I have the feeling that I am not alone in my anxiety over the pursuit of perfection.
Where does perfectionism come from?
One of the images that may come to mind when we discuss perfectionism is the overbearing parent who constantly criticizes and scolds their child for every little mistake. Love and nurturing are withheld and may be conditional upon the child’s “performance” of what he or she can do. It is a reasonable assumption that such a child may grow up to either rebel or become a perfectionist. Yet this is not the only scenario which may contribute to the trait of perfectionism. The following list includes other possible factors involved in creating the need for perfection.
Compensation for a perceived vulnerability or life challenge
When I was a child I lived in poverty with my mother who had a serious mental illness. I grew up thinking that in order to change my life situation someday, I would not only have to excel in school, but that I had to be perfect. I felt that many people looked down upon me and my mother because we were poor. Having a mother with schizophrenia also made me feel different from other children. I felt it necessary to compensate for my life challenges by trying to stand out in my scholastic achievements. It may not be so uncommon for children who feel that they are in the minority to feel pressure to work that much harder than others and strive for perfection.
Great responsibility at an early age
There are many children who are essentially mini-adults or caretakers at a very early age. I was such a child. I missed out on a lot in my childhood because I was responsible for my mother and keeping her as mentally well as possible. Of course this scenario was doomed for failure right from the start. I wanted to cure my mother of her schizophrenia and this is impossible. Children in such situations quite often feel that if they were somehow “perfect” that this will cure the parent with mental illness or other chronic conditions. Perfectionism is also a common trait for children and adult children of alcoholics. In an article entitled, “Alcoholism and Its Effects on the Family.” Author Tetyana Parsons says, “Older children of alcoholics may show such depressive symptoms as obsessive perfectionism, hoarding, staying by themselves, or being excessively self-conscious.”
Maintaining an illusion of control
When we feel that our life is spiraling out of control, one way to deal with this overwhelming feeling is to seek control in other areas. Striving for perfection is one defense mechanism to deal with great uncertainty. If we can’t control the world and our circumstances, then we may seek to control ourselves. One way to do that is to be perfect. Perfectionism is a way to distract ourselves from the crises at hand. This way we don’t have to accept unacceptable things like having a child with an incurable illness or that our spouse has an addiction to drugs or alcohol. If we carry our magical thinking to the extreme, we may even feel that we can cure such things by simply being perfect.
Believing that bad things will happen if we are not perfect
Finish this sentence: If I am not perfect then . “? As a child I would finish that sentence with: My mother will never be happy or sane. I will never get out of poverty. I will be unloved. As an adult, my thinking is similar to when I was a child. I feel that if I am not perfect that my household will fall apart, my son with autism will regress and everyone will be disappointed in me. Every perfectionist has their own variation of this theme. It basically equates to “If I am not perfect bad things will happen and not just to me but to the people I love.” This is another illusion of perfectionism and may be an unconscious way to hold onto control when we feel we have none.
The need for approval, love, and acceptance
These are basic emotional needs of every human being. But if you didn’t get these needs met in childhood or if you learned that love was conditional upon your performance or what you can do for others, then the idea of unconditional love may be an alien concept to you. Some people with a trait of perfectionism may feel that they need to jump through hoops to “earn” another’s love. In some cases the perfectionist may unconsciously re-visit childhood trust issues by choosing friends and partners where praise, validation, and/or love is dependent upon pleasing the other person. Underneath a perfectionist’s exterior is a people pleaser. The impossible task of trying to please everyone else leaves one physically and emotionally exhausted. Striving for this type of perfection in one’s relationships is a breeding ground for both anxiety and depression.
Consider these your go-to hacks for when you need to orgasm, like, now.
Look, sometimes you just need to get horny fast. Especially when you don’t have hours to prime your body for a long, sensual masturbation session—like, say between work meetings or right before you have to jump on a Zoom call.
Your body’s literally just like: Hey, give me an orgasm now, and then we can get back to regular programming. And IMHO, your bod should never be denied of its wants—let those feel-good endorphins flow out, girl.
So if you don’t have time to commit to the full masturbating experience (see: oils, face masks, pages and pages of steamy novels, plus anything else in the name of clitoris self-care), it doesn’t mean you have to opt out of an orgasm. It just means time is quite literally of the essence. And you need horny hacks. Fast.
To help, we’ve consulted some experts on what you can do to, well, get the job done quickly. Trust, going from 0 to 100 doesn’t have to be any less fun or enjoyable than a full-on pampering session. There’s always a time and place for a quickie—and that time is now.
1. Play *that* song.
You know the one. It’s the song that makes you feel like a literal sexual goddess—whether while you’re masturbating or dancing in the club. And, yeah, it definitely does all sorts of things to your horny radar. So, put it on and let your body move to the beat, suggests Sera Miles, CEO of Pep Love, a phone sex, sexting, and erotic emailing operation. Can’t think of anything? Anything by The Weeknd, Cardi B, or Meg Thee Stallion should do.
2. Compile a stash of erotic stories, audio clips, and/or images that just do it for you.
You’ll want to create a private file on your phone—whether via an app, the Notes tab, or a camera album—compiling a bunch of things that turn you on for moments like this. “Pop in your earbuds and listen to hot sounds while you scroll through words and pictures that do it for you,” suggests Miles. “Add to it whenever the urge organically arrives.”
3. Activate your senses.
Because, fun fact: They’re directly related to your libido. Sex and relationship coach Azaria Menezes suggests you do the following: eat some aphrodisiacs (like chocolate), set the mood in your room by adjusting the lighting according, turn on some music, swap your sheets to something sensual like silk, and spritz some perfume all over you that turns you on.
4. Focus on breath work.
“Focusing on your breath is the most direct way to get out of your head and into your body,” says Menezes. She suggests closing your eyes and breathing really deeply and slowly. Try different breathing patters—like, holding your breath in for three seconds before you exhale—and see what feels best.
5. Create your own sexual fantasy in your mind.
Porn is great, and sometimes even love scenes on Netflix or TV can be even better. But by creating your own sexual fantasy in your mind, “the mental images will quickly get you where you want to be,” says licensed psychologist and certified neurotherapist Catherine Jackson, PsyD.
6. Take a consciously-sexy shower.
Use your loofah, sponge, washcloth, and or your fingers to turn yourself on. “You’re already soapy, wet, and slippery, so your fingers will glide over your most sensitive areas even better,” explains Kayla Lords, sexpert for JackandJillAdult.com. You don’t even have to masturbate just yet (although if you turn yourself on and can’t help it, you do you!), but just focus on touching yourself in a sensitive way. “Caress your neck, chest, nipples, thighs, and those small erogenous zones that get ignored when you masturbate,” suggests Lords.
7. Think yourself into a sexy daydream.
Take a few moments to lie down on in bed, close your eyes, and imagine a sexy, kinky, or erotic fantasy, suggests Lords. If you fall asleep and wind up having a sexy dream, awesome, if not, you’ve still taken the time to indulge yourself in some hot thoughts that can steam up your next self-pleasure session or lead you to a closer understanding of what you wanna try next in bed.
8. Try out some CBD arousal products.
While some CBD arousal oils can compromise the integrity of latex barriers like condoms, if you’re by yourself simply trying to get turned on, you don’t have to worry about that, explains Megan Stubbs, sexologist. “Many people have reported heightened arousal, wetness, and orgasm intensity” from using CBD products, adds Stubbs. Try some out for yourself and see if it makes a difference.
9. Re-read your past sexts.
“Sexting is a gift that keeps on giving,” explains Marion Chloe Theis, a French love coach. “It’s good in the moment AND you can always re-read through the hot messages you exchanged afterwards,” she explains. Sure, you might not actually be with the person you originally sexted, but the steamy fantasies are yours to relive as long as you like.
10. Turn on your self-timer and do a boudoir shoot for yourself.
“There’s something special about the act of taking photos,” says Sadie Allison, PhD, and founder of GoLove CBD. Taking photos allows you to celebrate your body and simultaneously see yourself as the coveted object of desire you are, she adds.