How to become more positive.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Happy man

Happiness tip – be positive.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Want a more positive life, try these happiness tips.

Positive people are a lot happier and more productive than people who see everything in a negative light.  Pessimistic people like to say they’re just being realistic. It is possible to be very positive and still see life in a realistic manner.  Being positive also has the side benefit of making you more fun to be around.  Take a look at some of these positivity tips and see if applying them to your life would be beneficial.

1. Be kind to yourself to become more positive.

Cruelty makes the world an awful place.  Being cruel to yourself is a very unhelpful practice.  Begin your efforts to be more positive by being kind to yourself.  As you began to treat yourself better it will become easier and easier to treat others well.  Kindness is a close cousin to positivity.

2. Use positive affirmations to multiply your positivity.

The things you say to yourself, about you, have a habit of coming true.  Adopt the practice of using positive affirmations.  Each day, tell yourself something positive about you.  Find positive sayings that will motivate you to do your best.  Make sure these positive affirmations are things you really believe are possible.  Positive affirmations can do a lot to motivate you.

3. Giving yourself credit for things well done builds a more positive outlook.

Make sure that you recognize the things that you do well.  Believing in yourself and accepting credit where credit is due are parts of becoming more positive.  Are you one of those people who find it hard to accept a compliment?  There’s nothing wrong with accepting praise and compliments when they are deserved.  Becoming willing to recognize when you’ve done something well is one of the steps along the path to a more positive life.

4. Develop a positive support system.

The more you hang out with people, the more you begin to adopt their habits and attitudes.  To be one of the positive people make sure that you hang out with other positive people.  Work on enlarging your support system.  Surround yourself with people who will support you in being more positive.

5. Take responsibility for your life.

There may be many things in your life over which you have no control.  Two things you do have control of are your attitude and your actions.  No one but you can truly make you happy.  While they may set situations in motion, situations better to your liking, you will choose whether to be happy or to be disappointed with what they have done for you.  The happy positive life is a matter of personal responsibility.

6.  Please yourself first for a more positive life.

No matter how hard you try there are some people you will never be able to please.  Work on doing the things that will please you.  If you don’t please yourself no amount of doing and pleasing others will make you happy.  Being positive enlarges your happiness.

7. Get clear on your yes’s and no’s.

Do the thing you want to do. Say no to the things you don’t wish to do.  Get clear on which is which.  Positive people stay positive by eliminating that negative and those no’s from their life.  Spend your time on the things you really want to accomplish for a more positive life.

8. Focus on the lesson you learned not what you did wrong.

Don’t make the mistake of focusing all your attention on your errors.  Part of the process of learning is making mistakes.  It is OK to be less than perfect.  What you do need to do is make sure that you learn from the mistakes as you make them.  Positive people believe that mistakes are them learning another way that won’t work.

9. Plan, not ruminate, to be more productive.

Don’t spend a lot of time going and over and over things that happened in the past.  Avoid a lot of time worrying about things that might happen in the future.  Keep your focus on the present moment and on planning for what you are going to do.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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Get more done.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Garden in a boat.

Get More Done.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Ways to be more productive.

Would you like to get more done?

Do you feel like you are having difficulty being productive?

Here are some simple tips to improve your productivity and help you get more done each and every day. Try introducing some of these ideas, one by one and see if your productivity doesn’t increase.

Maintain a healthy blood sugar – energy level.

Your brain burns a lot of calories.  By some estimates up to 25% of all the calories, you will use every day are burned into your brain. Not having enough fuel on board reduces your ability to do work. Lack of blood sugar results in fuzzy-headed thinking.

Kids who skip breakfast do more poorly in school.  Adults who don’t eat something early will find that their will suffer.  Start your day off with a healthy breakfast.  Being productive requires energy for both your brain and your body.

Get enough sleep.

Most people become chronically sleep deprived.  You may be able to get by on reduce sleep for a single night, or even a couple of nights.  But if you continue to work with less than enough sleep, your productivity will decline.  Chronically cutting your sleep short is not a way to improve your productivity.

Eat healthily.

Getting things done requires maintaining your body.  It is not enough to simply take in calories.  Those calories need to include nutrients necessary to maintain health.  Many people’s diets are high in sugar, fat and low nutrient ingredients.

Get exercise. Move around.

Make sure you get plenty of exercise.  Take frequent breaks.  Get up and move around.  Staying in one position too long can wear you out.  Today more and more people work at desks jobs, working with papers, computers, and ideas.  The result of this inactivity is a body that can’t support the brain that is doing so much of your work.

Eliminate what distracts you.

Distractions are the chief enemy of productivity.  Try to eliminate the distractions in your environment.  Close unneeded Internet windows.  If possible, use music or white noise to eliminate the distraction of conversations or other noises in your environment.  Cut down on the need to attend to things other than your main task at hand.

Practice focusing.

Focusing, paying attention, is a skill that needs to be practiced.  Young children rarely have good attention skills.  The way those attention paying skills develop is by practice.  Work on improving your ability to pay attention.  Notice when your mind is wandering and quickly bring it back to the thing you need to attend to.

Pursue your passions. What interests you?

The majority of all learning is emotional, not intellectual.  You learn things that interest you.  Pursue your passions.  Think about the things that interest you and incorporate those into your work. Think about learning a new skill, something that might excite you.

Take breaks. Chunk work.

Productivity declines the longer you stay on a given task.  Break time-consuming projects up into smaller chunks.  Take short breaks between each chunk. Early in the day, you’re likely to be able to do longer periods of work on a particular project.  As the day progresses you may need to take more frequent breaks or switch to other tasks.

Recharge your batteries. What fills you up mentally?

Productive people invest some time in recharging their batteries. Use your time off, your breaks and lunch to do good self-care. Read something for fun, listen to your favorite music, make time to talk to friends and coworkers.

For the big projects, plan, prioritize and break up.

Some projects can be overwhelming.  Starting off not knowing where you’re going can result in poor productivity.  For large projects start by developing a plan.  What will need to be done first, second and so on?  Break large elements down into smaller pieces.  It helps to estimate how much time each part will take.  Pay attention to things you need to complete before you can start the next phase.

Have a clear picture of the desired outcome.

A lot of effort can be wasted when you are not sure what you are trying to accomplish.  Write out some goals for the project you are working on.  It helps to run these goals by your boss or your customer.  You have not accomplished much if you created something that doesn’t meet another’s needs.  You will work a lot more efficiently if you have a clear definition of what you are trying to accomplish.

Get the help you need.

Rather than trying to do everything yourself, identify those things where you could use others expert help.  Few people are skilled at everything.  It is a lot more efficient to get help from people who have expertise in areas where you are less skilled.

Try these tips for improved productivity.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Creative people stay childlike.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Original

Creative.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Extremely creative people nurture their inner child.

What is an “inner child” and why do we say that you need to get back there to foster creativity?

The idea of “inner child” work comes and goes. I think of an inner child as a developmental process. When you were young you were more in touch with feelings, more aware of not knowing things and maybe more open to experience. Many of our adult problems come from lessons that we learned or failed to learn as we grew up. If something happened to you and you concluded that was the way the world was, then from then on you lived your life based on that belief.

As a child for whom everything was new, you were more open to new experiences. Creative people practice returning to that place of not knowing and are more readily able to see things from new perspectives. If you can suspend your beliefs about what is and what has to be then you can see what might be. Here are a few ways in which a childlike view of not knowing, allowing your thinking to return to a more childlike or inner child state can boost your creativity and help you find new solutions to life’s challenges.

Keep asking why.

Children, early on, do not have fixed beliefs or interpretations of why things are and why they happen. The small child’s favorite question is why. The older we get the less we think about things. We come to believe that things are always the way we think they are. We adopt a stance of always knowing and become reluctant to admit we don’t know. We stop asking the why questions.

Practice each day asking yourself why? Why do things happen? Why do we do things this way? Remember to also ask “What” questions. Look for what could be that you have not created yet.

Daydream more.

The dream state is one in which all things are possible. The laws of time and space do not apply in the dream. In daydreaming things that appear unconnected may suddenly reveal their connection. Daydreaming increases the possibilities. Logical thinking reduces possibilities and makes them conform to the known rules of how things have worked so far.

Learn all you can.

Little children, many of them, are sponges. They are constantly learning. Remember that old saying that people use only a small portion of their brain. Truth is that we use all our brain but there are vast spaces where we have put very little. Use the rooms in your brain as workout centers, not as hallways leading to the same old conclusions.

Your brain needs furnishing just like your house. Fill your mind with bright shiny ideas and watch the creativity soar.

Apply what you learned one place to somewhere else.

A major source of innovation is taking an idea from one area and applying it somewhere else. Creative people find that taking an interest in other aspects of life increases their creativity.

Nothing is a failure if you did it.

Innovation requires a lot of trying on new things and learning from them. Life experiments need not be failures if you learn from them. Continuing to insist that there is one and only one way to do things keeps you stuck. Consider the risks but make sure you try out new things whenever possible. If you learn from the experiment then it was not failure it was a learning experience.

Curiosity did not kill the cat. Stay curious.

Contrary to popular sayings curiosity did not kill the cat. Being curious is how the cat catches the mouse. You will never find new things if you always look in the same old places. Cats die not from curiosity but from not looking and missing the oncoming car. Keep your eyes open and looking for the unexpected.

What can you make from that pile of stuff?

Our modern throwaway culture has encouraged the concept that we need to get rid of things and then get new. Some things do wear out or become obsolete. What we often forget to do is to “repurpose” the things we have. Reuse and repurpose things for creative solutions.

Things look different depending on where you are standing.

Keep looking from different angles till you see something new. Have a problem or situation that is not working out the way you want it? Try looking at it from all possible perspectives. Ask a lot of what-if questions.

Play well with others – be a team.

Most of the great inventions we praise as breakthroughs were the result of one person building on another’s work. Creativity is not plagiarizing or copying but it is seeing the merit in an idea and then making your contribution on top of that idea. Teams are often more creative than individuals. They can each see things from a new angle with a different knowledge base.

Want to be more creative? Spend some time with other people exploring their ideas and knowledge, then see how borrowing their viewpoint would alter the problem or project you are working on.

Don’t censor your thoughts. Let them run free.

Birds look a lot different when they are flying than when they are caged. Ideas do not show themselves to the best advantage when forced into rigid rules. Let the idea go where it wants. Do not chase it. Just watch where it goes and make note of how this idea would look if it were allowed to be a free-range idea.

Play till you drop. Do not let go of an idea till you wear it out.

Most ideas, especially novel ones, have more applications than they ever get allowed to visit. When you see a new idea, yours or one that is just new to you, play with it. Let it explore your mind. How could this idea change things?

To think hard you need naps.

Pushing harder and longer are OK for routine tasks but for creative endeavors, you need your brain working at peak efficiency. Thinking longer and harder does not maximize new thought patterns. Get plenty of rest, take naps or breaks and learn to practice your self-care. A well-rested mind goes running off in new directions.

There are two very different kinds of focus, “pinpoint” or staying on task and diffuse, scanning or looking all around kind of focus. A well-rested mind has the energy to explore new settings and ideas.

Go where everything is new.

Seek out the new and when you are a child it is all new. Reconnect with your child mind.

Novelty promotes creativity. Travel, take a class or explore anything new. Break out of your specialty and explore new topics and disciplines. To maximize creativity learn a new language, or develop a new skill. Take a different route to work or a different mental path.

Is there another way to show you that?

There is no right way to tell your story, sometimes you need to sing or draw it out.

People use different learning styles. Some people learn better by listening, auditory learners. Others learn by seeing, visual learners. Movement, kinesthetic, is the preferred learning system for some. Anytime you process information via a new system you can get different results.

Various learning styles make use of different parts and pathways in the brain. For maximum creativity use other parts of your brain. If you read and write a lot try using your visual system and draw out your projects. See if enacting a typical interaction with a client will create new ways of seeing your problem.

Have to? Do not!

Doing what you want to do is more fun than doing what others say you have to. People who love what they do are more productive and creative. Looks for a way to make your job fun. Get reacquainted with the things that made you interested in your occupation in the first place.

Not finding anything to motivate you? Then it may be time for a hobby or vacation. You may also need to switch assignments or positions. Some people find that a period of time working in a different department or on a different task re-energize them. Sometimes it is just time to get retrained for a new segment of your life.

There are some of my suggestions for increasing your creativity and making what you do all those hours we call work more rewarding. Do you have any other suggestions that you could share with the rest of us?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Ways to avoid work burnout.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Match on fire

Burnout.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are you unhappy at work?

Job Burnout

Job Burnout
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

More people are unhappy than happy on the job site these days. Not that the job is necessarily supposed to make you happy. There was a time when people’s main reason for working was just the money. When most people worked in farming or at a trade you worked to save up some money, bought some land and then had your life. Now if you have land you have to work to pay the taxes and other bills.

You will be working a long time.

If you look at your work or career as something you will do for 40 or so years, from becoming an adult, till you retire, it makes sense to look for a career doing something which you can be happy doing all those years.

The pay scale is not the only thing that makes for happiness. Pay is mostly symbolic. If I make enough to live the way I want, more is less important than if I am not making enough to get by on. A dollar an hour wage increase is huge for someone making minimum wage but means not much to someone who makes millions each year. Any good manager should know that giving out a raise can up production and happiness for a while but after some time people tend to revert back to their old ways. So the good workers work hard after the raise and those who thought that more money would make them happy find the effects of that raise are wearing off before long.

People who are truly happy at work find that it is more what they do and think than what the boss does that determines their happiness at work. While a bad boss can make things more difficult, there are things you can do wherever you are to make your work life more rewarding. Rather than expecting someone else to make you happy at work look for ways to get and keep a job that will make you happy.

Here are a few tips for creating a happy environment at your work site.

Search out a job that is right for you and that you would like to do.

College students often end up in majors because they heard that people who do that kind of work make a lot of money. Once out of school and on the job they are miserable and they often blame the place they work. If you are a shy person avoid training for or looking for a job that puts you out front talking to lots of people unless your goal is to overcome that shyness.

Look first for a job that would fit your personality and likes. Over time you should stretch and try to grow. Taking a job that you do not want to do is a sure recipe for job burnout. You may need to take a less than ideal job for now, but if you do, try to avoid settling into this for the long haul and being miserable in the meantime. Be thankful for the paycheck, do your very best, all the while looking for your ideal situation.

Do some research on what to expect on that job.

Some jobs look like fun when you see them on T. V. but the seamstress murder mystery solver is a fiction. Do some homework, talk with some people who actually do the kind of work you are thinking of doing. Does what is expected of employees at this company sound like something you could deal with for a long time or are you asking yourself how long you can put up with this right from day one.

Take care of yourself.

You cannot push all day at work and then go home and push all night without risking burnout. You work for a paycheck, OK. But partying all weekend is going to turn that job into something you will find it hard to show up for on Monday.

Learn to say no.

When asked to do something that you don’t think you can do, at least not safely or in the time allowed, say so. Avoid saying yes and then not doing what you said you would do. Being overcommitted at work and in your out of work life can make even the most enjoyable job an overwhelming burnout.

Please the people who matter. Do not try to please everyone.

Usually, you need to please your immediate boss or supervisor. You also need to keep the “customers” whoever that may be, happy. Beyond that, you should try to keep good relationships with coworkers but you can’t please everyone all the time. Pick who you will need to please and work on that.

You probably can’t please your boss and your parents and spouse all at the same time. Make sure you keep your family out of your work life and your boss out of your home life.

Work smarter not longer.

To the extent you have any control over the work you do and how you do it look for ways to get more done in less time. Elaborate filling systems are nice – sort of – but watch out for things that suck up a lot of time and produce no results. If the project changes weekly those files may all need to be pitched out next Monday.

Concentrate on the things that are most productive.

A few of the things you do produce the bulk of the results. This is true at the job, school and in your relationships. Do the things that are most productive first. Often those productive things will be the willpower sucking things that you keep putting off.

Do the hard things first while your willpower is strongest, then move on through your day to the less and less difficult things. Remember there will always be more to do tomorrow.

Prioritize to do lists.

Lists keep growing to fill the paper available. Many things on that list are wishes rather than need to do items. Do what matters first and cross off all the things that really do not need to be done. The goal is to be productive and enjoy your work life not to be super-employee whose cape is worn out before retirement day.

Enjoy your face time.

Emails and tweets are fine but nothing beats a face to face get together. Humans are social animals we need to see and be around others. Most happy employees get some time each day to stop and chat with other employees.

You can’t understand the tone of voice very well in an email, you get that better in person. You also need to be concerned about the person you are with as well as the work.

Think about when it will be time for a change and how you will know that.

Staying in the same place on the same job can burn people out. You need fresh challenges or opportunities if you stay on the same job. Some people find that periodically they need to change departments, tasks, companies or even careers. Others will find that they need to look for those challenges in their hobbies or out of work activates.

What ways have you found to avoid burnout in your life?

For more on the topic of Work and Careers see:

Careers and Jobs

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

How to be on time.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Time to change.

Are you on time?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How do those consistently punctual people do it?

Some people are always, almost pathologically, on time. Others are chronically late. Our western society is run on time. Things start at a particular time and then we are off to the next thing which also has a time. It can feel like we are being controlled by the clock.

The twentieth century was heralded as the century of labor-saving devices. With all that time we saved you would think no one would ever be hurried again. The result has not been an increase in available time but more working overtime to pay for all these labor and time-saving devices.

Even with all those technological advancements, some people are always on time and some are always late. Without getting into a discussion of the psychological factors that affect punctuality, and there are many psychological reasons people are on time or late arrivals, let’s look at how the Punctual People do things.

1. Punctual People get to bed on time.

If you think your day starts when you get up in the morning you would be way off. Getting plenty of sleep increases punctuality in the same way it increases productivity.

If you stay up late you will pay for it the whole next day. Tired people drag and then have to rush from thing to thing all day long.

2. Punctual People start their day early.

Late risers are already behind schedule when their feet hit the floor. They feel rushed and harried from start to finish. Let one thing go wrong and the rest of their day is off kilter.

Burn breakfast and there is no time to make a new one. The kids or you go hungry.

Plenty of road rage is caused by people who start out late and then need to “make up time” on the roadway. This rushing is bad for your driving and is bad for your health.

Start your day early and there is time if something goes wrong.

3. Punctual People allow enough time.

You know that your morning drive takes thirty minutes but you hang around reading your email and drinking coffee till quarter till. The result you have to rush and you are still late.

The worst papers come in from the students who wait until the night before and then try to write a paper in a few hours that they should have been working on all semester.

Bosses can easily tell when someone only allows an hour for an activity that should take four. The result is hurried, partially done and almost always late if it is done at all.

Give yourself plenty of time for each thing you do and you will be more creative, do a better job and still get it in on time.

Be realistic about how long things will take and you will run on time a lot more.

4. Productive People do not schedule themselves 100% of their time.

Early in the industrial age factory owners learned that you can’t schedule factories at 100% of capacity. Try to get above a certain productivity and something is bound to go wrong. A machine breaks or jams and then shuts down the whole line, the result is that productivity falls drastically,

People need downtime for rest, relaxation and repair in the same way machines need maintenance if we are to avoid a major emergency.

Punctual people do not schedule themselves nonstop. They allow small gaps throughout their day so that if one activity runs long they do not throw their whole day out of whack.

5. Punctual People prefer waiting to being late.

Punctual People enjoy those relaxing moments when they get somewhere before the event starts. They do not mind waiting for others. A few minutes to relax between things is both healthy and it keeps you on schedule the rest of the day.

6. Punctual People start tasks early.

If you begin your work on that report or paper early there is little need to rush and you are more likely to be done on time.

Getting off the procrastination ride and doing the hard things first assures they will get done on time. Waiting till the last-minute sets you up to run overtime and be off schedule from then on.

7. Punctual People use their calendar.

Punctual people plan ahead. The plan on doing things on schedule and that means leaving enough time on their calendar for getting something done. It also means not scheduling things too close together so that getting from one thing to the next throws them off schedule.

8. Punctual people feel disrespected when you are late.

Punctual people manage their stress by staying organized and planning ahead. They do not feel stressed because they started way before this meeting with you.

They may have gone to bed early, gotten up early and left home for your meeting early all to avoid rushing and arriving stressed. It is also likely that they have planned some flex time between seeing you and the next thing they need to do.

When you are late you take away that tranquility they have created and dump your stress directly in their lap.

When you are late there is less time to spend with you, less gets done, meetings are abrupt or hurried and if they run over time, you have just stolen some time that they had planned to spend with someone else.

There are some things in life where you do not need to observe a strict start and stop time. But most of life is run by the clock. Show up late for court and you may lose your case. Be late for a job interview and you reduced the chances of getting hired.

People who are on time are seen as dependable, they do what they say they will. So if you want to join the on-time club, consider adopting some of the characteristics of Punctual People and see if this does not reduce your stress in the process of making you a more Punctual Person.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

How to have a highly productive life.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Productivity

Get more done.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Highly productive people, how do they do it?

1. Productive People Set Goals.

Life happens whether you are ready for it or not. Knowing where you want to end up charts your course. Productive people think about the end result they want. What will it look like when they have accomplished that goal?

2. Productive People Plan the Steps.

Goals are nice. Someday you want to own your own business or you want to be a professional athlete. What are the steps you would need to take to move that plan into reality?

Break that goal up into the steps you will need to take to get there.

What skills will you need to learn? What will you have to practice? Most importantly, what other pleasures will you need to forgo along the way. Lots of promising, talented people fade between the start and the finish because they get distracted by the pleasures of the moment and forget to do the work needed to get where they said they wanted to go.

3. Spend more time doing than planning.

Planning is needed. So is preparation. But if all you ever do is dream, the dream stays in your head and does not materialize in reality.

Once you have that goal set and know the steps to get their make sure that each and every day you are doing something, no matter how small that thing is, that will move you toward your goal.

4. Evaluate what you are doing.

The best plans do not always anticipate the changes that happen in the world. Circumstances change, plans do not work out or they need to be modified.

People with very productive lives periodically reevaluate their plans. They know what is working and what is not working. They also reevaluate that goal. Is that goal still where you should be headed?

5. Adjust plans as needed.

Be open to modifying plans when it is clear that you need to do so. Do not make frequent changes out of insecurity and doubt.

That career you planned on in high school, those occupations may not exist. Technology changes, demand changes. Your plans may need to change with the circumstances.

6. Get advice from a coach.

When you are out there doing, you can’t see the things you are doing well or the things that need improving. Top athletes work with coaches who can spot flaws in their performance.

Working with a good coach can take your efforts to a whole other level.

7. Have a plan B that flows from your plan A.

If you plan to be a professional athlete what happens if you don’t make the team? You can keep trying, but eventually, the dream meets up with reality. Even those who do reach that goal find that they can’t go on being a professional forever. What happens to you if plan A does not work out exactly the way you planned?

College athletes are well advised to get that degree and develop their other talents. After your career as an athlete, long or short, what will you do? With a degree, you can teach. Maybe coach. Your options remain open.

8. Always be looking for the next step.

Periodically you need to look off into the distance. What is the next step in your development? When you get this goal accomplished what then?

Many people set goals, achieve them and then lapse into a depression. Their one reason to exist is over. Now what?

9. Do not be easily discouraged.

In attempting anything there will be setbacks. Expect setbacks. Plan on having failures. Learn from those obstacles and perfect your skills.

Learn and practice your skills along the way and you will find that you were able to accomplish much more than you expected. Do not quit before the miracle happens and if you continue to work you are bound to experience some miracles.

10. Do not let obstacles stop you.

If one obstacle causes you to give up you will not get much done.  The more you accomplish the more the obstacles. Learn to climb over them. Sometimes you will need to change course and go around them.

An obstacle is a chance to improve what you do and how you do it not a permanent defeat.

11. Learn something new each day.

Add to your knowledge base. You never know when something you learned will turn out to be useful in the future. Do not wait till you are desperate for an idea to go looking for one.

Many innovations have been the result of taking something that a person had learned in one field and applying it to another area. Be that creative person who can synthesize and create new and novel approaches.

12. Build a team by being a team player.

Most highly productive people have a team that they can depend on that backs them up. Develop that team by being a team player. Get along with and value others around you.

13. Maintain your mental health.

Take care of your emotional health. Do not let things discourage you. Do not become overwhelmed with anxiety.

In the area of mental health, prevention is important. Have a support system. Learn ways to manage your stress and when those problems of life overwhelm you get help.

14. Treat your body well.

The mind depends on the body for its fuel and energy. Eat well, sleep well and play frequently. A healthy body is far more productive than an impaired one.

15. Get a support system for you non-work life

Great producers at work have good lives outside of work. Many a work problem originated at home and was brought to work. If you want a productive life do not neglect your non-work life.

16. Know your work type.

Every job has its characteristic work type. If your personality fits the job you will be more productive and happier. Happy people are more creative and productive.

Look for projects that fit your personality and try to avoid taking on projects that will make you unhappy.

Keep these productivity principles in mind and work towards becoming more productive each day. Over time you will be pleased to see how much you have gotten done and how much your life has improved as a result.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

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Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Small Businesses learn the value of mental wellness.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Mental Health or Mental Illness

Mental Health or Mental Illness?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

When you are happy you are more productive.

An interesting trend in my private practice has been the number of small business owners and managers who come to me to work on stress management and solving relationship problems. The manager with a happy home life is a more productive manager and gets more done with less time required at work. Reducing stress at work also reduces the tendency to take the problems home with you at night.

For more on this see the post “Counseling Helps the Small Business Owner” at counselorfresno.com