Drie sleutels tot authenticiteit

The Three Keys to Authenticity

"Be yourself. There are already so many others." - Loesje” – Loesje

In a world filled with social media and constant comparisons, the quest for authenticity is more relevant than ever. Stephen Joseph, a leading psychologist, emphasizes that true authenticity consists of three core facets: self-awareness, autonomy, and integrity in our actions and choices. But what do these facets mean for your daily life, and how can you apply them to live your most authentic self?

In my book 'Hoe was je dag' I invite you to explore your authentic self along with a walking partner. But you can also sort everything out for yourself.

Key 1. Self-Awareness: The Foundation of Everything

Self-awareness is the foundation of authenticity. It is a profound understanding of who you are, including your passions, fears, strengths, and weaknesses. This requires time and reflection. Questions like "What did I enjoy doing as a child?" or "When did I recently feel completely myself?" can shed light on your true nature and desires.

Key 2. Autonomy: Taking Control of Your Life

Authenticity also means being in charge of your own life. This involves making choices that align with your personal values, not those imposed by others. It takes courage to follow your own path, especially when it deviates from the expectations of others. So, ask yourself who has control over your life. Who possibly determines (along with you)? And what do you do to navigate your own course?

Key 3. Integrity: Living in Accordance with Your Values

The last facet, integrity, is about acting in accordance with your values and beliefs. This means staying true to yourself in your actions, words, and decisions. It is the authentic self that comes out in everything we do. So, ask yourself if you are being yourself or do you too often play a role? Do you follow your passions?

How Do You Know You're Authentic?

The path to authenticity is personal and unique. It requires self-reflection, and that's not always easy. Do you want to be confronted with who you are, what you want, or would you rather let sleeping dogs lie? Authentic living also requires an act of courage, not only to get to know yourself but also to stand up for yourself and claim your own authentic life.

Authenticity as a Philosophy of Life

Authenticity is more than a trend; it's a philosophy of life. Embracing the three facets enables you to lead a life that is rich and fulfilling, true to yourself, and resonant with your deepest desires and values.

In Conclusion

In our current time, where it's easy to get lost in the crowd and live according to others' expectations, authenticity offers a compass for personal freedom and self-expression. Let us, therefore, strive for a life in which we can fully embrace our authentic selves, thereby cultivating a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us.

How authentic do you live? And what does authenticity mean to you?

Reading tip: Joseph Stephen, Authentic: How to be yourself and why it matters, 2017.

The Power of Quotes

The Power of Quotes

"Quotes are medicine for the brain." – Brenda Casteleyn

Ik ben gek op citaten want ik ontdekte de kracht van citaten al heel snel. Heel wat beroemde schrijvers, acteurs, zangers en andere bekendheden hebben citaten verzonnen. Maar ik vind het ook leuk om er zelf te verzinnen.  En dat is meer dan alleen een leuke hobby, want citaten hebben een diepgaande impact op mijn leven gehad. Zo herinner ik me een periode waarin ik me vaak ergerde aan kleine, financiële ongemakken, zoals verkeerd terugbetaald worden in de winkel. Toen hoorde ik iemand zeggen: ‘ik maak me nooit meer druk over geld’. Niet zo geslaagd als citaat misschien, maar het bleef bij mij hangen en sindsdien begon ik die zin als een soort mantra te gebruiken. En het had een enorm effect. Langzaamaan kon ik een meer ontspannen houding aannemen ten opzichte van geld. Ik hoef me nu niet meer benadeeld te voelen als er weer eens een financiële tegenslag is, want… ‘ik maak me niet meer druk om geld’. Daarnaast gebruikte ik citaten om me te motiveren tijdens mijn studie, om me te troosten bij verdriet en bij tal van andere gelegenheden. Deze persoonlijke voorbeelden illustreren hoe een enkel citaat  je perspectief en zelfs je gedrag kan veranderen.

Let's, therefore, list the ways quotes can enrich your life.

1. Quotes Comfort

A quote can express a feeling you struggle with and feel alone in. The relatability of the quote can then provide comfort. I find this one by Isabel Allende quite beautiful: "The biggest problem with people today is that they are afraid of suffering, so afraid of losing something. We have forgotten that loss is a part of life." Also, you can find solace in quotes about resilience and hope, which remind you of how others have overcome similar experiences. This quote by Nelson Mandela, for example: "The greatest glory in life lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

2. Quotes Motivate

A quote can motivate you to maintain a habit or pursue your goals. Maybe you need motivation to study for an exam or to go to the gym. This quote by Mark Twain might then help: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." And when you hang such a quote somewhere visible, so you're confronted with it every day, it works as an affirmation or mental support.

3. Quotes Offer a New Perspective

A quote can prompt you to see something from a different angle. Sometimes you're so down in the dumps that you can't see anything positive anymore. Then this quote by Martin Luther King might help: "Only in the darkness can you see the stars." It gives you a new perspective on the difficult situation you're in and challenges you to see it not only as an obstacle but also as an opportunity to learn and grow.

4. Quotes Provide Insight

A quote can help you achieve something on a deeper level. For instance, I recently heard someone say: "better done than perfect." For a perfectionist, this might initially seem counterintuitive, but it can also lead to the insight that perfection actually leads to the opposite, namely that your quest for perfection becomes an obstacle to progress and completion. This quote can then lead to a more productive attitude, allowing you to derive more satisfaction from completed tasks and the process itself rather than just focusing on an unattainable ideal of perfection.

5. Quotes Inspire

A quote can inspire you to experience new things or tackle matters differently. Perhaps you're looking for some inspiration to find the right job in your life or to break out of your stagnant job. Then this quote by Confucius might inspire you: "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

6. Quotes Improve Your Mood

Quotes can also be funny, and in that case, they can significantly improve your mood. How about this one: “The problem with doing nothing is that you never know when you're finished." - Groucho Marx

In Conclusion

Quotes are a fantastic tool to give your mental well-being an extra boost. What quotes have helped you? Do you have a favorite quote or a favorite author? Or are there other ways quotes have helped you that I haven't mentioned? Share it below.

Teleurstelling als kracht

The Power of Disappointment: 6 Steps to Turn Disappointment into Strength

"Desire is the mother of disappointment." - Alexander Pola

I recently launched my third book. Although many had registered via LinkedIn, Facebook, and email, a flood of last-minute cancellations led to fewer attendees than expected. Naturally, I was initially disappointed, but the positive reactions from those present and the fact that I sold more books than there were guests made up for a lot. Have you ever experienced a similar disappointment? How did you handle it?

With these steps, you can turn your disappointment into strength.

Step 1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

It's normal to feel upset when things don't go as expected. Maybe you missed an opportunity, a promise was broken, or a goal was not achieved. That hurts. That evening after the launch, I gave myself time to feel and accept the disappointment. This is an essential step to turn disappointment into strength. In my article about 'constructief lijden(constructive suffering) I explain why it's so important to allow and give space to sadness and negative feelings.  

Step 2: Explore Your (Limiting) Beliefs

Take a moment to reconsider your expectations. Were they realistic? Could I really have expected my launch to turn into a large event that was more crowded than my previous launches? Tony Robbins, now a famous speaker in stadiums, started with events for an audience of three people. So, I had to accept that growth takes time and that it's okay to start small.

Step 3. Redefine Your Goals and Expectations

Now that you've adjusted your beliefs, you can also redefine your goals and expectations. Instead of focusing on the number of attendees, I chose to appreciate what went well: the quality of the interactions and the feedback. This helped me revise my goals and focus on what's really important: the impact of my work and sharing insights.

Step 4: Build Resilience and Perseverance

With adjusted goals and expectations, you can now continue with renewed resilience and perseverance. Like Thomas Edison, who experienced many failures before his breakthrough, I saw this experience as a valuable insight on the way to my ultimate goal.

Step 5: Create a New Strategy

You now have enough motivation to work out a new strategy. In my case, that meant focusing on the power of 'butterfly effects' or starting small. Instead of fixating on the number of readers or followers of my author's page (which, by the way, has increased tenfold in the last three months), I can now focus on a real connection with readers.

Step 6: Improve Your Self-Image

Finally, use the experience of disappointment to develop gratitude for what you have learned and pride in how you handled it. The experience has already helped me to move forward with renewed strength and confidence.

In Conclusion

Disappointment can be painful, but it is also a powerful tool for growth and development. By embracing these feelings and learning from them, you transform yourself in ways you never thought possible. Often, the seeds of future success and happiness lie at the core of disappointment.

What setbacks have you had to deal with? How did you handle them?

Kerst of oudjaar alleen

7 Tips for Celebrating Christmas and New Year When You're Alone.

“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.” – Robin Williams

These days can be challenging if you are alone or missing someone. However, there are ways to get through them unscathed. Here are 7 tips for celebrating Christmas and New Year's Eve alone.

Tip 1. Go for a Walk or Do a Solid Workout

Start with a brisk walk or engage in some sports. Not only is it healthy, but it also improves your mood. Choose a beautiful natural area for your walk, or surprise yourself by blindly picking a spot on the map. This might lead you somewhere new, starting your day with fresh impressions. If a walk is physically challenging, consider a lighter activity like a short walk in your neighborhood or some simple exercises at home. The goal is to keep your body active in a way that is comfortable and refreshing.  

Tip 2. Pamper Yourself

This is the perfect time to pamper yourself. Take a long bath or a warm shower, and make self-care a pampering ritual. Dress in a way that boosts your confidence - whether it's something festive or your favorite comfortable outfit. Also, pamper yourself with food. Prepare a special dinner for yourself with all your favorite dishes, or order something special. And don't forget to give yourself a small gift as a token of self-love.

Tip 3. Make It Cozy

A neat and cozy environment can improve your mood. This doesn't have to mean a big clean-up; sometimes tidying up a few small things can make a big difference. Add some extra atmosphere with candles, soft lighting, or your favorite music in the background.

Tip 4. Choose a Favorite Activity

Whether it's reading a good book, watching a movie or series on Netflix, or listening to your favorite music, make sure you do something you really enjoy. If you're creatively inclined, consider drawing, painting, crafting, or writing.

Tip 5. Do Volunteer Work, Go on a Date, or Seek Contact with People

If you're looking for interaction with others, volunteering is a great way to be meaningfully busy and meet new people. If you're feeling adventurous, try a dating app and see what new connections you can make. Virtual contact with friends or family can also provide a sense of connection.

Tip 6. Cherish Memories and Maintain a Positive Mindset

Take the time to be grateful for happy memories and focus on the positive aspects of your life. This can help you feel more connected to what you're currently missing and focus on the good things you've experienced.

Tip 7. Reflect and Plan for the Future

Use this time of peace and solitude for self-reflection and future planning. Think about what you have achieved in the past year and what your goals are for the coming year. Write down your thoughts and goals in a journal. This can help you process your feelings and map out a positive path for the future. Reflection can also help you realize what's important to you and how you want to shape your life. Creating a vision board or making a list of New Year's resolutions can be an inspiring activity to focus on hopeful and positive aspects of your life.

In Conclusion

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For all those who are spending these days alone or missing someone: lots of hugs and warm thoughts

Benjamin Franklin-effect

Improve Your Relationships with the Benjamin Franklin Effect

“Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them.” – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, discovered a fascinating psychological phenomenon: asking for a favor can lead to greater sympathy from the giver. This paradoxical effect, known as the Benjamin Franklin Effect, remains relevant today in our daily interactions, from personal relationships to professional environments.

Historical Context: How Franklin Discovered It

Franklin stumbled upon this effect after borrowing a rare book from a political rival. Remarkably, this improved their relationship. This anecdote not only provides insight into Franklin's personal relationships but also illustrates a larger psychological principle that continues to be studied.

Understanding the Benjamin Franklin Effect

Understanding the concept of 'cognitive dissonance' is crucial to grasping the Benjamin Franklin Effect. When one helps another, the brain seeks a reason for this behavior. If you wish to assist someone whom you previously viewed negatively, it helps to adjust your opinion of that person somewhat positively to maintain consistency. We sometimes think that we do good for people we like. But the Benjamin Franklin Effect also means the opposite, namely that we come to like people for whom we do something good.

Of course, asking for help can also be seen as a compliment because you acknowledge that someone can do something better than you.

How to Utilize the Benjamin Franklin Effect

When you ask your employees for advice, it can lead to a better working relationship because the employee feels valued. But even if you ask your friends to help you move, it can strengthen your bonds. Or consider neighbors who ask each other for help and how it strengthens the social fabric of the community. Even businesses use it to make customers more loyal: they ask their customers for feedback on customer service. But today, with the numerous surveys, the request for feedback may have gone a bit overboard. This can, of course, have a counterproductive effect. Asking for help has also become a useful tool in online communities and social media. And even among business competitors, seeking help can lead to fruitful collaborations.

But be aware, this effect can also be used for clever marketing. For example, there have been marketing campaigns, such as those by Lays Chips, where customers are invited to give their opinion on a new flavor, leading to increased engagement and a more positive perception of the brand, ultimately resulting in more sales.

Do You Sometimes Struggle to Ask for Help from Someone? Consider that the Benjamin Franklin Effect may lead to a better relationship with that person.

Recommended Reading: David McRaney, You Can Beat Your Brain, How to turn your enemies into friends, how to make better decisions and other ways to be less dumb, 2013.

Voordelen van onzekerheid

The Meaning of Uncertainty: 7 Reasons Why Uncertainty is Good for You

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller1

Spontaneity and improvisation are fun – like on vacation, for example – when you don't have to plan anything and can just do what you feel like. But in your daily life, you still like to know what to expect and what lies ahead. Where will you go on vacation this year? And what will you do during the holidays? You love surprises, but only if they are pleasant, right?

However, uncertainty can have its advantages. Here are seven reasons why uncertainty can actually be good for you.  

1. It promotes your flexibility

Uncertainty forces you to adapt to new situations. Remember that time you had to take an unexpected detour and how you quickly found a new route? Such a challenge forces you to respond quickly and efficiently in unforeseen situations. This experience teaches you that you can be flexible.   

2. It stimulates your creativity

If you're not prepared for what's coming, you often can't rely on your tried-and-tested methods. You are forced to think outside the box and improvise. This can lead to more creativity. It's like cooking without a recipe, and maybe you'll discover a surprising but delicious new flavor combination that you would have never considered otherwise.

3. You learn to let go better

Uncertainty also teaches you that not everything is within your control. Think of the times when things went differently than you expected. By accepting that some things just happen, you can embrace the flow of life and let go more easily.

4. You are more in the now

An uncertain future teaches you to appreciate the present moment. This can lead to a deeper awareness of the now and a greater appreciation for the small things in life, such as appreciating an unexpected sunny day or enjoying an unplanned visit.

5. It strengthens your problem-solving ability

Uncertainty is like a mental workout. It challenges you to solve problems in new ways, thereby strengthening your thinking and adaptability. So, you become not only more creative but also more efficient in finding solutions.

6. It encourages self-discovery

When you are faced with uncertainties, you may also be confronted with yourself. You are then forced to set priorities and thus you can discover what is really important to you and what values you want to uphold.  

7. It builds your resilience

Uncertainties often go hand in hand with fears. By facing these fears, you build inner strength. And this resilience helps you to face future challenges with more confidence.

In Conclusion

The uncertainties and inherent unpredictabilities of life offer you opportunities for growth, learning, and authentic living. When you face uncertainty again, remind yourself that this is an opportunity for personal development.

When has uncertainty enriched you or brought a new dimension to your life?

  1. Helen Keller (1880-1968) was an American author and activist. Deaf and blind from the age of 19 months, she overcame these limitations with the help of her teacher Anne Sullivan. Keller became the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and was an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities.
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Persoon met uitstelgedrag

Recognize and Overcome Your Procrastination: What Type of Procrastinator Are You?

Who isn't familiar with procrastination? For me, it's primarily household chores that get left behind, piles of unironed laundry staring at me accusingly. I just keep pushing it off. But did you know there are different types of procrastination and that each requires its own specific approach? Below, we explore the most common types and how you can outsmart them.

1. The Perfectionist

Type: As a perfectionist, you're always afraid that the result won't be absolutely perfect. This can lead to paralysis. Or you keep tweaking your work, and so you never really make progress.   

Strategy: It can be helpful to set concrete and achievable goals and aim for 'good enough.' Establish a timeframe within which you'll complete the task and remind yourself that you can always make improvements after the work is done. This clears the way to finish your projects without getting caught in endless revisions.

2. The Dreamer

Type: Are you a dreamer who is good at coming up with ideas and plans but finds it difficult to execute them? Perhaps your project remains a beautiful plan in your head, never materializing into a result.

Strategy: Break your pattern by working with action plans. Write down all the tasks and set deadlines. Then focus on one project at a time and commit to a small daily effort towards your goal.

3. The Burnout Procrastinator

Type: If you feel overwhelmed by even the smallest tasks, you often don't know where to begin. Everything seems too much, and so you might decide it's better not to begin at all. Your procrastination stems from deep fatigue and feeling like your batteries are drained.

Strategy: Use the five-minute rule: start by breaking the task into smaller, more manageable pieces and spend only five minutes on a task. Often that's enough to break the lethargy and find the motivation to continue. Also, ensure adequate recovery and rest between tasks.

4. The Bore-out Procrastinator

Type: It could also be that your tasks don't challenge you. Boredom is your enemy. You find your tasks dull and meaningless. The absence of challenge and engagement leads you to apathy and hence procrastination.   

Strategy: Think of ways to make your tasks more enjoyable or exciting, for example, by linking them to your passions or by adding an element of competition or reward.

5. The Crisis-Maker

Type: Do you need an adrenaline rush to spring into action? You work best under pressure, and therefore you postpone your tasks until the last moment. Only when the stakes are high do you feel sufficiently motivated to perform.  

Strategy: Set earlier deadlines and share these with an accountability partner to create a sense of urgency. Link the completion of tasks to another goal or reward.

6. The Risk Avoider

Type: If you have a fear of failure, it can lead to you continually postponing tasks. The idea that you might fail then becomes paralyzing.

Strategy: It can help to adjust your expectations and thus work on your self-confidence. You can break the task into smaller tasks that you're sure you can handle, and thus gradually build up to more difficult tasks. Understand also that failure is part of the learning process.

7. The Improviser

Type: If you're disorganized, this can lead to procrastination because you have no control over your time and priorities. Maybe you find improvisation and spontaneity important, and thus you find planning tedious. Or you can't decide what you want to tackle, and thus you flit from one task to another without a clear goal.

Strategy: Cherish your spontaneity and improvisation but also bring some order to the chaos by developing a clear daily routine or using planning tools to organize your tasks. Prioritize activities and become aware of how you spend your time. This can help to find a balance between flexibility and structure.

In Conclusion

Of course, the nature of your task can also present additional challenges. Complex and difficult tasks are a challenge for all types, as are boring tasks or tasks that don't suit you. A universal strategy is to break the task into subtasks and create an action plan. Additionally, look for ways to make it fun, exciting, or urgent.

So what type of procrastinator are you? Do you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions? Take these insights and see if you can apply them to your daily life. Perhaps you'll find a new way to approach your tasks that helps you overcome procrastination. Try out different strategies and see which works best for you.

Meer doen in minder tijd

7 Tips to Achieve More in Less Time (Part 2)

Here are seven more tips that can help you make the most of your time. Not necessarily to do more, but to spare some time for what truly matters in life.

1. Start Early or Work Later than Others

The morning hours are often the quietest and least distracting. By waking up early, you can take advantage of this peaceful time to tackle your most important tasks without interruptions. Early birds often say they have their most productive hours before the rest of the world wakes up. On the other hand, if you're more of a night owl, you can benefit from the hours when others have gone home. These hours can also be quiet, allowing for concentrated work.

2. Regular Physical Exercise

Exercise not only stimulates your body but also your mind. Whether it's a morning jog, an afternoon walk, or a short stretching break, physical activity can help refresh you and boost your concentration. Moreover, it helps to reduce stress. Combine this tip with the pomodoritechnique, or make your breaks active.

3. Eat Healthily

Nutrition plays a crucial role in your cognitive functions and energy levels. By opting for nutritious meals and snacks, you provide your body and mind with the fuel needed to function effectively. My mother knew this better than anyone. Especially during exams, she would serve the healthiest snacks. So, try to eat regular meals and avoid excessive caffeine or sugar.

4. Break Down Large Tasks into Smaller Steps

A large project can seem daunting. By breaking it into smaller, manageable tasks, you can focus on completing each step individually. This also creates a sense of accomplishment with each task completed. Combine this tip with good planning.

5. Set Clear Deadlines

Deadlines can serve as a powerful motivator. Even if there's no external deadline, setting your own can help you stay on track and be accountable for your progress.

6. Gebruik de Twee Minuten Regel

This simple rule suggests that if a task takes less than two minutes to complete, you should tackle it immediately. This prevents small tasks from piling up and eventually taking up a lot of time.

7. Surround Yourself with Motivated People

While tip 1 advises you to work when it's quiet and there aren't too many people to distract you, it's a different story when you have people around whose energy and attitude positively influence your mindset. Surrounding yourself with motivated and positive individuals can indeed draw inspiration and motivation from their enthusiasm and drive.

Do you have any other tips to increase your efficiency? Share them below.

Gekookte Kikker Syndroom

"The Boiled Frog Syndrome: Why You Often Notice Change Too Late"

The Boiled Frog Syndrome is a metaphor used to describe people's tendency to ignore or belatedly notice changes in their environment, even when those changes could be potentially dangerous. The idea behind it is simple: if you were to throw a frog into boiling water, it would immediately jump to escape. However, if you place the frog in cold water and gradually heat it, the frog will simply sit there until it's too late.

Now, you might be thinking, "Well, I'm not a frog, so this doesn't apply to me." But the Boiled Frog Syndrome is actually a quite apt analogy for human behavior. You've undoubtedly experienced moments when you ignored changes in your life, whether related to your health, finances, relationships, or work.

Here are a few examples:

1. The Sneaky Weight and Stress Gain

  • When I had successfully completed a diet, it was just a matter of "maintaining my weight." But after a while, I gained a little weight back. It seemed insignificant compared to the pounds I had lost, so I didn't pay much attention to it. But before I knew it, my favorite pair of jeans no longer fit. The Boiled Frog Syndrome in action! But what if you let your stress build up in the same way? After some time, you might realize that you've fallen into a full-blown burnout .

2. The Financial Hangover

  • You start ignoring your monthly credit card bills because the amount is slightly higher than usual. You continue to spend, thinking it's not a big deal. Until you notice that you're deep in debt and have no idea how it got to that point. And if you continue to bury your head in the sand, you might even lose control to the extent that you can't afford to pay your rent anymore. In the worst-case scenario, you could end up completely homeless. This is the extreme worst-case scenario of the Boiled Frog Syndrome in financial matters, where all those minor financial setbacks lead to life on the streets.

3. The Relationship Disaster

  • You've sensed tension in your relationship for a while, but you choose to ignore it, hoping it will go away on its own. Spoiler alert: it usually doesn't. The Boiled Frog Syndrome can let relationships simmer just like slowly heating water. An extreme case of the Boiled Frog in relationships is when you get entangled with a narcissist because these individuals are exceptionally skilled at using this syndrome to slowly ensnare their victims. A narcissist may begin with subtle manipulation and gradually take control without you even noticing. Before you know it, you're deeply trapped in a suffocating relationship, and you're unsure how to escape .

So, how do you avoid becoming a "boiled frog"? It all starts with awareness and proactive action. Be attentive to changes in your life, no matter how small they seem, and take them seriously. If you notice something is amiss, act before the situation reaches a boiling point.

In short, don't be a "frog" ensnared by the Boiled Frog Syndrome. Recognize changes in your life, take action, and prevent yourself from getting burned, or in this case, burned by life itself. Because, let's be honest, who wants to end up like a frog? ??

When was the last time you were a victim of the Boiled Frog Syndrome?

Meer doen in minder tijd

7 tips to accomplish more in less time (part 1)

"People who think that time is money usually only realize on their deathbed that their time is up but their money isn't." ― Alexander Pola

Have you ever felt like time was slipping through your fingers, even in the midst of retirement expectations or the hustle of your daily life? I vividly remember eagerly anticipating my retirement, expecting a sea of time lying ahead. Ironically, it seems that my schedule is now busier than ever before. Time is more precious than ever, and this awareness has led me to contemplate how we can do more in less time.

Fortunately, there are strategies you can apply to increase your productivity. Here are the first seven tips that can help you make the most of your time. Not necessarily to do more, but to have time left for what truly matters in life.

1. Make a plan and set priorities

It might seem contradictory when you have little time to spend a quarter-hour planning. However, without doing so, you lose a lot of time and energy hopping aimlessly from one task to another. Imagine that, through thoughtful planning, you discover that the work you do for one task is actually the key to success for another. By setting the right order, you can create synergy between tasks and handle them more efficiently. This prioritization prevents you from getting stuck in the multitude of small tasks that may not be essential and lead to a loss of time.

2. Avoid multitasking

This tip applies to both men and women. Even if you think you can do multiple things at once, it's actually an illusion. Instead of multitasking, you're constantly switching from one task to another. It's not surprising that studies have shown multitasking actually reduces your productivity. Concentrating on a single task leads to fewer mistakes and improves the quality of your work. Better focus also makes you work faster.

3. Take regular breaks or use the Pomodoro technique

Named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer used by its creator, this Pomodoro  technique involves working intensively on a task for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. These short, focused work periods can help you avoid distractions and keep your energy level high. Taking breaks is not only a well-deserved breather, but it also allows you to stay fresh and alert, increasing your productivity throughout the day.

4. Minimize distractions

To work with focus, it's important not to be distracted. If a background radio distracts you, turn it off. But more importantly, turn off your phone and all digital distractions. Each notification requires your attention and, therefore, time. Ensure you have a quiet workspace so that you aren't disturbed, or inform others that you are working.

5. Learn to say 'No'

It's easy to get overwhelmed when trying to please everyone. By learning to set boundaries and saying 'no' to tasks or obligations that don't align with your goals or priorities, you take care of your well-being and productivity. If you've made a priority list, you can easily refer to it to frame your 'no.'

6. Use technology

There are many digital tools designed to increase your productivity. Apps like Trello help you manage projects, Todoist helps you track task lists, and Google Calendar can assist you in managing your time. Choose the tools that best suit you and integrate them into your daily routine. However, remember that technology is a tool, not a goal in itself. It's an art to find the right balance so that technology actually enhances your productivity without overwhelming you.

7. Schedule regular reflection moments

Periodic self-evaluation can help you refine your approach and identify any obstacles. So, when you're extremely busy, take some time to reflect on what works and what doesn't so that you can adjust your strategies and optimize your productivity. This prevents you from running around like a headless chicken from one task to another.

In conclusion:

These tips reveal that working faster is actually a good balance between planning and reflecting on one side and working concentrated on the other. Speed is achieved by also slowing down occasionally and taking breaks, or as the French saying goes: 'reculer pour mieux sauter,' which means 'to step back in order to jump better.' Therefore, at the end of each week or month, take the time to look back on your achievements. Consider what went well, what could be improved, and what changes you can make to make the next period even more productive. By consciously choosing where you invest your time and energy, you can have time left for the enjoyable aspects of life.

Next week, we'll bring additional tips in part 2. Meanwhile, do you have any tips for doing more in less time? Share them below...