• Blog

    How to Stay Focused

    “Where was I again?”, I often ask myself this question after getting distracted. My attention span is very short. I find it hard to focus on almost everything. It quite gets annoying when I am often troubled by distractions. The more I am interrupted, the more I lose concentration. And when I get back… I have no idea where I left off.

    How do people manage to stay on track all day? We live in a world that is full of distractions. Like today, the stubborn me kicked in. Instead of working, I am doing rounds on my blog, trying to write my thoughts on how to focus. It is past 7 pm anyway.

    How does someone like me, who has a limited span, focus? Here is how I do it.

    Arrange My Workspace

    Keeping our workspace tidy has a huge impact on keeping our focus. A cluttered desk is distracting most of the time. What I do, before I begin to work, I make sure that all is tidy and within my reach: my food and drinks. So I do not have to stand up to get a food/drink in case I get hungry/thirsty.

    Create a Task List

    It became my habit to make a to-do list before I start to work, clock out, and go to bed. I list it based on their importance and due dates. Every time I slash out a task, I get motivated to finish everything.

    There are times I had to switch from one task to another. Switching tasks makes my brain stay alert sometimes. Oftentimes, it (multi-tasking) is not effective for me. More pending tasks are happening.

    Play Some Music

    Listening to music could calm my troubled mind and improve my performance. It even makes a boring task more fun.

    I listen to the classics: cellos and violins when I am feeling troubled. I switch to rock music when I am bored. When you see me wearing my headphones, I am either trying to focus or I am bored.

    Work Offline

    To be able to stay focused and get my work done ahead of time, I limit the use of my phone. I normally put it aside and focus on work. Notifications easily diverted me away from what I am doing. Switching it on silent mode can also make a big difference.

    Take Mental Breaks

    The best thing to do when you cannot focus anymore is to take short breaks. Taking a short break allows our mind to refresh or reset. Our brain is not capable of working full 3 hours straight. Here is why I have my hourly alarm set even though I am at work. I am training myself to focus on a task for 45 -50 minutes then 10 minutes computer-free break.

    When you see me stepping away from my desk stretching, I am taking my mental break seriously.

    Distractions are everywhere. Staying focused is not an easy task. Following these can be daunting at first, but with determination and dedication, we will improve our focus.

  • Blog

    How to Celebrate a Happy Birthday Alone

    Spending your birthday alone can make you feel desolated and miserable, but this is not a bad thing at all. With the current situation and majority of us are still in quarantine, there is nothing wrong going solo on our special day.

    So what if there is no one around on my birthday? It does not mean I cannot enjoy the special day alone. Even though my family and friends are miles away, there is no reason to celebrate birthday alone when there is technology. What is the use of video calls, anyway?

    Sometimes, we need to be alone. Not to be lonely, but to enjoy our time being ourselves. – Anonymous

    The best way to feel less solitary is by celebrating and having a great time. Our birthday comes only once a year, and we should not miss celebrating it even if we are alone. Whether it is birthdays or anniversaries, celebrations do not just stop during a worldwide pandemic. The pandemic took a great deal from us – our daily normal routine and even our jobs. Do not let it take our special day, as well.

    Here is how (I plan) to celebrate and enjoy (my) birthday alone while still being safe and healthy.

    Start the day by getting up early and giving thanks. There is no better way to start the day than a getting up early. This puts us in a good mood for the entire day. I am not a morning person, but I will try to wake up a little earlier on my birthday. I promise!

    Enliven my place like hosting a big party with birthday banners and inflatables a day before my birthday to get into party vibe. Waking up smiling, seeing your home decorated, is a pleasant feeling. For birthday banners and balloons, check happydayph at Shopee. I received my orders a day after I placed my orders. That fast!

    Watch a live broadcast of Mass. Since my birthday falls on a Sunday and public masses are still suspended, watching Mass online is one way of staying connected with the parish and the Church. Thanks God to technology!

    Treat myself with a delicious meal. Who does not love good food? For lunch, I will cook Pinaupong Manok, and for dinner, just Pesto Pasta. Or better, order via Grab Food/FoodPanda.

    What is a celebration without a cake? So what if no one is bringing me cake this time? I can get it at any rate. Buy that cake I have been looking forward to tasting. I love the Minimalist Cakes of Wadough’s and Aegyo Cakes. I could have secured a slot on my birthday if only I inquired earlier. All August slots are already taken as early as July. I still have Mary Grace Cheesecakes on my options, anyway.

    Binge a new series (not necessarily a new series) while having cocktails. I am planning to start watching “The 100″ on my birthday. I have not seen that post-apocalyptic fiction drama yet. There are lots of TV shows on Netflix. I bet it is well worth a watch for it is highly recommended by Netflix Community. And yes, having cocktails while binge watching.

    Lockdown is only temporary. When this is over, there will be a time to celebrate with our loved ones. Plan a great party or trip for when everything is over. Or just begin to think about next year’s party celebration.

    Before the clock meets 12, write about things I am thankful or anything that I would like to remember about my birthday in my journal.

    Missing my family and being sad on my birthday is really OKAY. I realize that it is not as bad as what others are dealing with. I know I am not alone in this fight.

  • Blog

    NikkaShem.com Version 2.0

    The day I decided to get back to blogging is the day I wanted to go back to why I started blogging in the first place. Back in the early days, blogging is a little different; it is like a daily journal where you can write whatever you like, free of judgement.

    I am making a comeback because I miss the old days of blogging.

    It has been a while since I have posted. I was supposed to leave this site and would no longer be renewing it. Renewals are way too expensive for me even to afford. But then, I decided to try it again. I am telling myself to write more. I started looking for a free or really cheap deal on domain and hosting. You know how much I missed talking to myself.

    Today, I transferred to Hostinger. I have seen a great deal for four years. Isn’t that amazing? Very timely! 4 more years of having me here. I just could not leave the memories I have had in the past years and tear them apart. This is my home. So this is where I will be for the succeeding years.

    Welcome to NikkaShem.com Version 2.0!

    I waited way too long to blog again, and I am sorry for that. BTW, I have all of my old, boring blog entries deleted. I am going to start from scratch. It is like starting a blog for the first time, amazing yet intimidating, in the old, old style of blogging.

    Here are the reasons why I need my head back to blogging.

    Work is exhausting nowadays

    (Excessive) Stress at work has a tremendous effect on our health. Sorry to say that, Boss. I consider blogging other than shopping and traveling as the best stress-reducer . I gave up all the other hobbies; blogging has been my release. Blogging, for me, is fun. It is like a playground where I play with words and ideas to practice. In almost too many ways to count, it has changed the way I look at stress.

    I feel inspired again

    One of the reasons I did not get back earlier is that I was feeling uninspired. I cannot seem to find a topic that I am passionate about and enjoy sharing and talking.

    I want to get better at writing

    The more you write, the better you become, right? Blogging allows me to compose my thoughts in English. It is such an excellent method of practice. Since I am not a conversationalist, I learn new vocabulary words and grammar rules and even spelling each time I write. The only way to get better is to write more and practice more.

    I want to improve my time management skills

    Aside from having my planners, Blogging allows me to maintain that discipline, aside from having my planners. Although I cannot promise to put out regular updates, I will somehow feed you posts from time to time. So stay tuned and hit that notification. I am going to try to set aside a time to write a day worth of thoughts every day.

    That’s it! After years of on and off love affair, I am finally here. See you around.