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To do or not to do? I would actually prefer not to do things, or maybe do it later – much later. Procrastination, as per Thesaurus (yes, I use this like anyone else), means dawdling, dragging ones feet and sometimes play a waiting game or my personal favorite, “shilly-shally”.

I always thought I was lazy but turns out, I have a serious case of shilly-shally going on. Kind of made me sad because I thought I was unique. Guess not! Even this post took me much longer to write than it should have. Not because I was lazy but because I couldn’t find a topic to write about for days. Also, I couldn’t gather the strength to research about it. Truth be told I was busy watching my weekly TV shows, all 16 of them. But, when I did, I found some astonishing amount of people who go through what I go through.

I don’t think procrastination should be such a big issue unless something is put off day after day for weeks, months or even years. Although, with my super savvy skills as a Google searcher, I found procrastination is not something as elegant or even as simple as avoiding procrastination. Nope! Those who give pointers on avoidance are only as good as those fake, I mean very concerned, people who think the solution to obesity is to tell obese people to stop overeating. It doesn’t work like that and nor is it as simple.

I am not an expert on psychology of course (because I have done my Masters in Business) but I am a  practiced soul in letting things slide to the last minute. In university, with the exception of handing my assignments from time to time, I did nothing. I was busy being an introvert and along the way, I came up with my own theory on Ways to Make Campus Life Easier For Introverts. My 20 to 30 page assignments were dealt with two nights and sometimes the morning of submission. Needless to say, every semester, I would submit my haphazard papers learning that procrastination can make a person do a month’s worth of work in 8 hours and 8 hours’ worth of work in a month. There is no in-between. Oh, and in case any of you reading would like to know, I did manage to pass by postgraduate studies, barely, but finally did.

I think we all go through periods of procrastination and that is nothing to be ashamed of. In the world of “Procrasti-Nation”, we live and pass through cities like denial, guilt and justification just like in the stages of grief. Well, not just like, but similar. We know all too well when something needs to be done but there is this persuasive power from another dimension making you think you need to be doing something else that moment than getting the work you assigned yourself into doing. Apparently, it’s called productive procrastination. Look it up. At least, doing something else you put off for so long is being done now can give you a good feeling. So what if it’s just an illusion?

People say success is eluded from a person who is a procrastinator, I say, we procrastinators come to enjoy success, most times with a little delay or more. Take me for example, I did not really have a formal education until my 30’s, when I became a post graduate. I changed my field of business and just started to work on my passion of writing, photography and video editing. Some might also call it a midlife crisis but I like to be positive and call myself a procrastinator. Of course, in no way do I say procrastinating is a good thing but we all should learn to embrace our powers. With such confidence of procrastination there is also a belief that the work will be done. Maybe not on time, but done the least.

All what you read are just my opinions. I would have done more research on the subject but that’s an issue for another day. I would end with a valuable advice which has helped me and countless others is to break down your tasks to smaller portions, this helps to recognize important tasks that can be completed first.

Another solution:

Are you also a shameless procrastinator and have found life changing superpowers when you decided to wait out? Well, go on, inspire us with your story!

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Starting university can be a major event for people but let’s be honest, majority of the kids sign up just to experience the party life right?

Being an introvert, my first day of university was a mixture of feelings. Though I felt super excited to enter a whole new world, I was also dreading the whole experience altogether. Let’s not forget the discomfort and doubt about meeting new people, or even interacting with them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I hate people, it’s just that I can’t stand most of them.

It was like the first day of school all over again. The thought of it made me nauseous but I busied myself by preparing for my university life by buying pencils, bookmarks and sticky notes because I take my education seriously!

Now let’s get you moving towards a stress free transition from school to college life.

1. First of all, enroll into a university close to home, where you can live rent free.

Mommy’s food while I study?! Heck yeah!

Be realistic, you have already learned to master the art of tolerating the people under that roof. Leaving the nest, albeit liberating, can be the most daunting experience because as introverts, we live off the security blanket of a comfort zone.

2. Choose wisely, especially when you decide where to sit.

Entering a lecture hall full of people staring you down can be quite intimidating. This idea gives me a little, no, wait, a lot of anxiety. Thus, I try to make it a point to reach lecture halls earlier than the crowd so I can have the option to choose my seat for the remaining of the semester. According to a few blogs that I read (skimmed through), they emphasized on choosing a row right in the front where you can concentrate on the lecture. To that, I say, “ummm NO!”. I think the best place to sit is right at the back, close to the door. That’s your exit strategy!

3. Cross your boundaries – well, sometimes.

During my first week of university, we were required to be in groups of 4-5 students, for an assignment. That meant, I had to smile and make eye contact, as my insides cringed. I tried. But it felt like I was back in school, where you are always the last child to be picked for any sport or activity. However, this time, I did not get picked at all! I had to send an email to my professor, who forced one of the groups to take me in their little handpicked group. Long story short, even with their obvious expressions of disdain, I managed to win their hearts with…with..wait, I didn’t. Sometimes it’s easier to step outside the comfort zone for a bit, get the job done, and get back to being your introvert self.

4. Adventure, Books and Secret Lairs

                 

With the obvious free time (between classes), sometimes you are strapped in for some awkward run-ins and the fear of standing out as a loner. Don’t be afraid to explore the campus for secret lairs under the chemistry lab or that creepy room in the library. Adventure aside, you may even discover your very own private spot to chill with your favorite book.

5. Fill Those Weekly/Monthly Planners

Make sure you are aware of your next class and assignments. Although this should have been my very first point, I made an executive decision not to give it that much importance. Your weekly planners (not just for decorative purposes) will help you organize and stay on top of your game. Joining university, I had trouble keeping up until I started planning and prioritizing. This will aid in saving you time during the week, to either Netflix or just simply crawl under a blanket.

6. Social abodes

Cafeterias, restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores are crowded. Avoid! Enough said!

7. Stationery

If you are are a stationery addict like us, then this just may be the one thing you are already blowing your little fortune on but such is life, we can never have enough stationery.

8. Social Clubs

Although I never went to any of the on-campus clubs, it can actually be a good place to find new hobbies. Staying indoors at all times isn’t healthy either. We’re introverts, not losers! We love independence in a controlled environment. We might be weird, yes, but not completely unreasonable. Truth be told, we all need a social life to thrive emotionally and social clubs may just be the right place to find like minded people.

9. Always give yourself a break

If any of this ever gets overwhelming, go to your secret place. Whether it’s a physical or mental space, where you relax. Go there. In fact, take frequent trips there. All this stimulation can get astoundingly overpowering at times. So cancel those plans and pick a book. Switch that phone off. Enjoy!!

10. Don’t be Afraid

Again, easier said than done but there is no harm in trying. This does not just apply to introverts but people from all walks of life. You get to see a whole new world apart from the one that you are living in and it is almost as exciting as…as, well, it’s not THAT exciting!

Lastly, I have not forgotten my extrovert buddies. Except for number 7, follow the list and do the exact opposite, you will be good to go. Awesome ambiverts, take your pick to what suits you best. As for me…

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Our handwriting is just as unique as our finger prints. Handwritten letters retrieved from crime scenes can be sent to a graphologist, who can build a profile of the criminal and distinguish between a real or a hoax letter.

Hold on a minute! So something as simple as our handwriting can give insight into our personality and help predict whether we are more susceptible to a crime or not?
 
You bet!        
 

Graphology is a study that aims at identifying human traits by analysis of one’s writing. The qualities of a person, such as likes, dislike and fears, can be gauged by the strokes and patterns revealed by their writing.

The physical act of writing with a pen and paper engages our brain in more ways than we may realize. From improvement of memory, as you jot down notes, to journaling your way to better health but most of us stop there; we don’t delve further. 

If studied with much precision – slants, angles, spacing and instrument pressure can unleash a whole another truth under magnification. The graphologist overlooks what’s written, while solely tunneling vision towards how it is handwritten and attaches it to psychological interpretations. We may be deceived by looks and talk sometimes but it’s not easy for the handwriting to lie. Even in cases where someone might try to switch up their handwriting and attempt to write in a different way, to a true graphologist, it’s visible.

I, once, had a graphologist study my writing and though he was spot on about his analysis, it seemed to pertain mostly to my state of mind at that very moment as I was rather agitated then and his readings concluded the same. Which brings me to my next question. Does our handwriting change with age? As, obviously, our mindset changes with maturity.
 

Absolutely! It’s as simple as referring to your diaries from the past and you will notice the meticulous tiny letters transition to bigger, sloppier ones. It could be as simple as us letting the letters go or something more significant like a developing personality.

The literature is currently divided on graphology as a science. While we wait for science to figure it out, we can always have our fun with letters as we try to interpret the true personality of individuals. In the mean time, try not to be too hard on your children when it comes to handwriting. It’s mostly in professions that require the most writing, that we tend to get sloppier and lower the bar a bit. No matter how polished our training was, we always end up doing things differently as adults. That does not go on to say that children should not be encouraged to enhance their handwriting skills but the key is in the nudge, not in the push!
 
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Does anyone even write letters anymore? 

We spend hours happily typing away on a keyboard, paying little heed to the pain in our back, neck, wrist, legs, kidneys? But who cares right?!

Give a child a writing tool and watch them squirm within a minute.

“My wrist hurts.”

“My hand is cramping.”

“I’m getting a headache.”

Why are we so afraid to pick up a pen and just write? Why have we given up so easily?

If you’re anything like me then you may have written a letter here or there and sent it sailing through the air during class. That’s a letter as we knew it. The generation before us, they depended on letters to communicate. Letters mailed back and forth were the conversation we later had over email, and the generation now has over the phone.

Letter writing has long become extinct but what we don’t realize is how it kept us socially and intellectually connected with the world around us. Majority of us realize how artificial networking and social connections are online yet, it does not deter us. The outrageous amount of insensitivity we come across online on daily basis, due to the speed at which communication takes place and the anonymity it could entail at times, drives us to type without thinking. 

It starts with you. Turn off the wifi (including the data running on your phone) and disconnect. Grab your favorite pen. No need to worry about decluttering your mind, just write freely. Write whatever comes to your mind. It could be the fact that you are bored or the color of your wall isn’t bright enough. This is for you! You write non-stop for 5 minutes. Write or Wrong teaches you that no matter how conditioned your writing is, it is a great way to gauge the inner workings of your mind. Just let your mind drift and you will see how. Pen each thought without fearing judgement. Your letter to yourself could very well end up in the trash but not before giving you great insight. 

It takes the noise away and you get a grip on what’s really going on in that fascinating mind of yours. Too many times, our verbal communication is on auto-pilot. We say what is socially and politically correct, at times without even thinking. In the process, we end up neglecting the emotional and logical integration of our minds. This practice will help you process the thoughts constantly running through your mind. You know, the ones you brush under the rug?

Here is a sample of how it could possibly go (an excerpt from my own writing):

“Great! I have to be very careful with my words because this gets published publicly. I spelt publicly wrong, haha. Thank god for spell check, I would end up making an utter fool out of myself. It’s funny how…wait…I heard a distracting horn and I forgot what I was thinking. Dang it!!”

Not as majestic as how we imagine to pen our thoughts but who knew a paper and pen could be self empowering? Try it. It just takes 5 minutes to find out how!
 
What did you find brewing in your head today – when you took the pen to the paper?

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These guys are homophones and before we begin our journey, let’s get this straight, it is stationery we are referring to today!

Stationary is something that does not move or stays still in one place. Kinda like when the teacher asks a question and you sit so still that, in your mind, you almost cease to exist. 

My daughter and I are stationery obsessed. We spend all our money (and daddy’s) on the trendiest and cutest stationery we can get our hands on. A quick trip to the mall could easily lure us into a stationery shop and then, time seems to stop.

“Oh my GOD, I need these mom.”

“I know right? Me too!”

My husband, on the other hand, walks around crushing our high spirits with eye rolls and repeated glances to his watch – so we normally tend to ignore him.

Being a ’90s kid, we had the best of both worlds. Our gadgets were barely gadgets and we loved our stationery. We communicated through spitballs and handwritten notes during class. The most popular kids had the coolest and most worn out backpacks, while the nerds settled for pencil cases which looked like little robots – which, by the way, could give the transformers a run for their money!

Now I do love all the convenience that technology brings us. I must admit though. Computers and tablets are robbing us off traditional means of creating communication. There is a disturbing gap between an active, screen free mind and a blank paper.  Instagram is filled with journalling ideas but whatever happened to creativity? We are so busy taking pictures and preserving memories that we don’t have any memory of the moment when those pictures are captured. It’s almost as if we are in zombie mode and unfortunately, it gets worse for the kids. 

As our children get smarter, extended exposure to screen time is making them more easily agitated and fidgety. Boredom is no longer an option as gadgets become their tantrum pacifier. Their playground has slowly transitioned from physical to virtual. With the sudden hike in addictive technology, parents are looking for creative ways to wean their children off their gadget addiction.

Sometimes, simple things such as encouraging our children to collect memorabilia for a scrapbook could motivate them to notice minuscule details around them, to paint in their art journal. It’s amazing to see the eye replace a camera shutter and the hand replicate what a printer does. If gadgets are what they crave then be brave enough to gift them a camera and watch them earnestly immerse into photography, as they try to impress you with their developing skills. 

My daughter developed an interest in photography when we gifted her a polaroid camera. These are some of the images from her collection and are a window for me to see the things she notices when we are out on field trips. 

Instead of turning to Youtube for art ideas, inspiring a child can occasionally be effortless when all that is available to them are art supplies. Oh, how we spend a little fortune on those! But it works every single time. When my 10 year old walks up to me with an “I’m bored”, I present her with one of my most sarcastic smiles and reply, “Awesome!” You know what that does? It drives her up the wall. She retracts to her room full of art supplies, Lego and a TV she’s only allowed 30 minutes on, and always comes back with innovative ideas. She churns that boredom into poetry writing sessions, creating surprise cards for family and friends, or just simply connecting with herself by indulging in art, like drawing or painting.

The temptations are numerous once gadgets are connected to the internet. Younger children are able to play games on a smartphone and tablet now, but unable to tie their own shoelaces, ride a bike or swim unaided when older.

Endorsing a creative atmosphere by equipping a child with stationery can be that difference between expecting or nurturing. Expectations are to throw the seeds and wait for them to sprout with little care. Nurturing requires time, patience, genuine interest and a whole lot of coffee!

How do you help keep your home gadget free and instill a genuine interest in paper, as a replacement? (Paper photography, coloring and writing on paper, reading newspaper.)

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