Five Tips for Handling Any Kind of Pressure Better

Pressure is a part of everyday life in Singapore, but while having some pressure in yours is healthy for providing motivation to be more productive, too much can be overbearing and difficult to handle.

But the good news is that it’s all about making the pressure work for you, and it involves finding just the right amount of it to help you get through difficult days ahead. Here’s how you can change the way you handle any kind of stress and pressure for the better:

1. Start planning for crunch time

Take a few minutes to identify what counts as “crunch time”, which usually consists of a huge amount of work that needs to be done in a short period. If you can outsource your work to an assistant or a colleague, consider doing so in advance.

2. Break down tasks

The easiest way to get stuck in a rut is to be intimidated by a complex task or project, and if you find yourself facing several complex ones at a time, you want to avoid being intimidated by them by finding out which ones need to be done first. Once you’ve ordered them by priority, break them down into smaller steps that are more manageable and can give you an incremental sense of accomplishment the more steps you finish.

3. Separate internal and external pressure

While you can’t change the conditions and situations where things need to be done quickly, you can change your response in order to adapt and handle them better. Instead of stressing out over them, try to assure yourself that your current tasks are indeed a high priority, and your actions are making a huge difference.

4. Stop procrastinating

Procrastination is a bad habit that leads to so much stress and so many unfinished tasks, and it usually means that you failed to prioritize and act as needed. However, this habit can be broken since it is usually made as a response to a challenge you don’t think you can take.

To break this habit, first ask yourself the exact reason why you’re resisting, and see if you can stop doing so and simply act on the task. When you find yourself procrastinating, simply repeat the process again. Actively forcing yourself to work also results in you making more effort and being more productive.

5. Adopt a more mindful outlook

Being more mindful allows you to stay calm under increasing pressure, which in turn allows you to become more adaptable and focused. In fact, you only really need to take aside ten minutes a day to meditate and clear your head to be able to tackle any incoming challenges more efficiently.

Simple Tips to Remember to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

No matter where you work or what you do in Singapore, you’ll almost always negotiate with other people. Whether it’s for business or for some other benefit, people are always negotiating. Given that, if you want to increase your own opportunities, it might be a good idea to sharpen your negotiation skills. Here are some things to remember so you can do just that.

Recognize the importance of preparedness

When it comes to negotiation, you could say you’ll have to be prepared both technically and mentally. Simply put, being prepared technically means you know what you want to achieve by the end of the discussions. If the goal of your negotiations is to increase your client’s budget for the project, then be prepared with a comprehensive plan. That way, you can lay it down to the client with ease. Being mentally prepared is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s just as important.

Listen

Some say that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason, and that is we should listen first before speaking or reacting. There are many situations that can cause us to react strongly against a person. But it may do better to give them a chance and listen to what they have to say first.

In more formal or business situations, the value of listening becomes even more evident. If the other party is the one giving the information, you have the advantage of using that information to your benefit. That being said, by listening well, you won’t miss anything important.

Learn about body language

Doing the right gestures can provide for a more convincing and genuine speech. If you know how to utilize your body language, you can easily stand out and take the upper hand in negotiations. This somehow has a lot to do with a display of confidence associated with body language. Something as simple as not slouching, for example, can actually make you look more confident with yourself.

However, more than that, it is also important to study the body language of the other party. For instance, if you were planning to negotiate on increasing the budget for your project but your boss is displaying what you might assume as “negative” body language (e.g. furrowed eyebrows or crossed arms), then it might not be a good idea to do so just yet.

Know what you are able to bring to the table

One important factor in negotiation that can save you a lot of time and energy is knowing your value to the company. Firstly, knowing your real value can be humbling. You will be ready to make and accept mistakes. In addition, you will be able to express your concerns to others since you have a good understanding of your own knowledge and experience. Knowing what you are able to bring to the table can help you negotiate better plans or business projects within the range of your capabilities.

6 Ways You Can Become a Better Networker

Having good networking skills has become more and more important over the years. Whether you’re planning to start a business in Singapore or you work at a well-established company, you’ll need to network and get to know a lot of people to improve your career opportunities.

Practice with those you already know

If you don’t have a general idea of where to start, practice speaking to people you already know. This is a great way to get used to networking since you already have an established connection with the other person and you can easily strike up a conversation. It can be a friend whom you haven’t been talking to for a while or maybe a co-worker that you still don’t know very well.

Study and research

More than anything, it’s also very important to do your research. By knowing more about the people you’re trying to connect with, you can at least be confident that you know a thing or two about them. Most of the time, this can actually impress the other person and it can communicate that you’re really interested in getting in touch with them. 

Remember to keep in touch

Probably the most important thing to do in networking is to establish a long and genuine connection. Take time to get to know the person and allow them to get to know you better too. Keep in touch whenever possible! The more you do it, the more likely your interactions will be better in the future. Of course, you shouldn’t do this too much that you’ll already look like a creep.

Value your business card

Firstly, make your business card memorable. Though it’s a small and simple object, it will help you in almost any networking situation. On that note, don’t go handing out your business card to everybody in the room. There’s always that one person who does that. And many people see the act as impolite. What you should do, really, is to hand your card if the other asks for it or after your conversation.

Utilize whatever resources you can

Today, it’s become very easy to network because of the internet and social media. It only makes sense that you take advantage of it as much as you can. But remember that social media is something that should only supplement your face-to-face meetings and not completely replace them. It’s still better and easier to network with others if you interact with them personally.

Remember the value of exchange

Lastly, you should take note of the importance of having a healthy exchange. One of the easiest ways to start a connection is to share your stories and listen to theirs. You’ll have something to learn from them and they will have something to learn from you. This is almost always the reason why you can effectively make a connection with someone.

Things to Remember If You’re A Newbie at the Gym

At some point in your life, you might consider improving your physique or overall physical fitness. You think about going to the gym but just the idea of it already scares you. For one, everybody else there is already fit and you still have a big belly or maybe you’re on the very-skinny side of the spectrum.

The thing is, these are just limits you put on yourself! So, here are some things to remember before or as you step into the gym.

Invest in a good gym

Most gyms in Singapore actually offer great services and quality equipment for a decent price, so this won’t be much of a problem. Investing in a good gym will give a lot more motivation than you think. By paying for a membership, you’re already being responsible for yourself.

You don’t want to waste that money by not going to the gym! Plus, more expensive gyms usually have good trainers. As a beginner, having a good trainer to teach you will be very important. Of course, this doesn’t mean gyms on the cheaper side don’t have good coaches.

Know proper gym etiquette

One of the most important things to remember is gym etiquette. There are unwritten rules in the gym and you won’t really know about them on your first day. So, try to observe what’s going on in your first 2 weeks.

An obvious one, though, is to wipe the benches or machines after you use them. Another is not to stay in front of a person who’s observing his form in the mirror. Just make sure to listen to your trainer and not joke around. 

Don’t be intimidated

As said earlier, one of the biggest factors that hinder a person from going to the gym is fear. They feel embarrassed about themselves because everybody else is already fit. Actually, someone who would think like this makes it obvious that he has never gone to a gym before.

Take a peek in a gym and you’ll see that not everybody is fit! Beginners like you will clearly not have the same physique as a seasoned gym-goer. Of course, if you don’t step in the gym and do work, you won’t get the same physique as them. 

Do what you enjoy

This isn’t only for the gym but for your physical fitness as a whole. Just do something that you really enjoy whether it be bodybuilding at a commercial gym, CrossFit in a CrossFit box, or running around a park. If you’ve been weightlifting for quite a long time and just started taking an interest in cycling, by all means, try cycling! Remember, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t last with it at all. 

4 Tips on How to Read More Books

We read books to learn, to be inspired, to entertain ourselves, and for many other reasons. Books not only contain knowledge but they also give us the opportunity to spend time in a whole different world while.

That’s why it’s not exactly a surprise that there are some people who can read over a hundred books a year. If you decided to take the challenge and at least read more books within the year, here are some tips should take note of.

Make reading part of your daily schedule

Let’s get this straight; you will always be able to make time to read. For example, if you spend most of your evening mindlessly scrolling on your phone, you can actually use that time to read a book. Or, if you wake up early, you can read a few pages while drinking your kopi and eating some kaya toast.

When you’re just starting out though, don’t immediately clear out an hour from your daily schedule just to read. Do it for 20 minutes first, then 30, then so on. This is so that you don’t suddenly destroy your schedule each day.

Learn how and when to speed read

There are actually a lot of ways to speed read. There are also lots of tutorials on the internet! Now, one speed reading strategy may work for one person and not work for another. There are also some books that are hard enough to understand if you’re reading at a normal pace, how much more if you speed read. Learning how to speed read can be a good investment, but you have to also use it strategically.

Read in those spare moments

Aside from your schedule reading time, you should also read during your spare moments. For example, standing in line at a hawker stall, sitting in the MRT for your daily commute, waiting for a sibling to finish classes.

These are all great times to read a book because your mind is not preoccupied with other tasks. It’s also a great way to kill boredom! Even though you only get a few minutes of these spare moments, they will actually add up and you’ll actually read more than you expect.

Reading with your phone

Reading with a smartphone has its pros and cons. With a smartphone, you essentially have a whole library in your hands! Plus, it’s very easy to read from your phone during commutes or times when you can’t hold bigger items like books.

The disadvantage, though, is that you can get distracted pretty easily. We play games and go around different social media platforms on our phones. If you’re still not used to reading, you may just end up on Twitter or Facebook rather than read what you planned to read.

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