Month: May 2021

Bedtime Routine for Adults – Ultimate Guide of 10 Tips!

Bedtime Routine for Adults – Ultimate Guide of 10 Tips!

Today I will be talking you though a bedtime routine for adults. Sleep plays a vital role in all of our lives, and there are countless articles and sources of information that cite sleep as one of the most important factors in our mental, emotional,…

7 Motivational Uplifting Quotes – W/C 24th May 2021

7 Motivational Uplifting Quotes – W/C 24th May 2021

The right quote at the right time can transform your life. Not all quotes are powerful. But every once in a while, you come across a quote that stands out from the rest. These powerful quotes inspire you to take a step back and to…

How to Live in the Present Moment – Slow Down!

How to Live in the Present Moment – Slow Down!

Fair too often we are caught up in the busy schedule of life and wonder where did the day go?, or hasn’t that week flown by, or the summer will be soon over. This happens because you’re so busy in life just doing that you forget how to be.

At some point or the other, all of us have inevitably found ourselves wanting to just leave it all and go far away from all the rush, from all the noise and just be in peace with our own self.

There is too much rushing, too much achieving in this overly fast paced world. If you find yourself in such a position then it is actually reminding you that you need to slow things down and go slow with life. Step outside the rush.

Learning how to slow down in life is a challenge by itself, especially for those who seem to work non-stop, or those who feel guilty for taking a break as they think I could be doing this, or doing that.

But living in the fast lane comes at a price, that price is you’re missing out on your life. The time you spending planning, working, doing, rushing and all the other things that lead to hectic life, takes away living in the moment and experiencing what it truly feels like to be alive.

This is so profound, yet what is it to be alive?  Although I cannot concretely answer that question for you, through my personal experience I have found that people feel the most alive when they are truly experiencing the present moment.  Those times when you are able to slow down and pay attention.

 

 

How to live in the Present Moment – Slow Down!

 

What is stopping you from living in the present moment?

Your mindset may hold certain beliefs that keep you stuck in the fast lane. These could come from personal experience, habits, things you’ve learned growing up or the pressure of society.

Take a step back and a moment to reflect on your mindset and your beliefs on why you shouldn’t be slowing down from a fast-paced life.

What do these beliefs mean to you?

Here are some examples of beliefs you may have about slowing down:

  • If I take a break or slow down, I’m lazy
  • Things won’t get done.
  • I could be doing something else in the time I’m taking a break
  • I need to be doing more to be more successful than Joe Bloggs next door, and the only way I can do that is by working harder- even if it stresses me out.

The ironic thing is that you will actually be more productive and efficient if you take breaks and pay attention to what you are doing in the moment. This is because living in the present moment increases your focus.

how-to-live-in-the-present-moment

When you work yourself into the ground without no break, and constantly move from task to task, you are not fully living in the present moment and therefore are not fully engaged. As a result, you are living your life in auto-pilot mode.

This can result in two things happening:

  • You are not fully focused; therefore, you’re not putting the best work into things. This is because you are just thinking about moving onto the next task.
  • You are burning yourself out by never taking breaks or slowing down.

 

How can you live in the present moment?

While you’re rushing about from task to task, somebody else is living in the present moment and time is moving much slower for them. It is the same number of seconds ticking by, the same minutes and hours pass by, but it is your perception of those moments that is different.

Your perception is your reality, therefore if you find that you seem to be rushing through life then the answer lies in changing your perception.  Some of that may originate in identifying and changing your anxious thoughts.

how-to-live-in-the-present-moment

Additionally, you can practice Mindfulness by being aware of your senses (touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell) in the present moment.  This is one of the most effective ways to truly bring you into experiencing this moment fully.

Try it now and pay attention to what is around you.  Notice how you feel.

Below are some ideas of how you can stay in present moment.

 

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation simply means setting aside a certain amount of time every day to deliberately practice being in the present moment. It could be as little as five minutes or it could be as long as you want. The exercise is about accepting whatever you experience in the moment without judgment and without your mind wandering off to the past or future.

Your mind will inevitably wander off, especially at first. When this happens, just notice that it happened. Just noticing brings you back to the present because you become aware of what your mind is doing.

 

 

Focus on the Process

For many people, the biggest obstacle to living in the present is that we feel the need to plan for possible problems. This is especially true of people who tend to be anxious. Prying your attention from your worries feels a bit like taking your eyes off the road when you’re driving.

To overcome this resistance, focus on the process rather than the end result. Living in the present doesn’t mean you give up on the idea of progress but rather understanding that progress can only happen if you act on the present. So, for example, you can be engaged in writing down some recovery goals and some steps to get there. You’re planning for the future, but you’re actively engaged in that particular activity.

 

Use a grounding technique

A grounding technique is when you deliberately notice sensations in order to ground yourself in the present. You can do this as part of mindfulness meditation or just any time during the day when you find yourself preoccupied with worries or otherwise unable to concentrate.

A common grounding technique is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. You notice five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

This engages all of your senses and the mild complexity of the task keeps you cognitively engaged. However, you don’t have to go through this whole exercise to ground yourself. You can engage with any sensation. For example, you might notice the sensations in just your feet or you might notice the sensations of your breathing.

 

 

Write things down

One reason we often don’t live in the present is that we have something we feel is important that we have to remember. Maybe you have a meeting after lunch or you’re supposed to call your mom, or you have a great idea for your friend’s birthday present, and so on.

If you have to devote mental energy to remembering those things, they will take away your focus.

Instead, just write them down. If it’s an appointment, writing it down on a calendar or planner is always a good idea, but just writing a reminder on a sticky note is usually enough to get it off your mind.

 

Forget about the clock

Anyone who has ever had a job knows that the last 10 or 15 minutes of the workday are the longest. When you’re busy, you forget about time and focus on what you’re doing. When you start looking at the clock, you get restless. Time creeps by. You wish it were 20 minutes in the future and you were on your way home.

The same thing happens any time you’re too focused on the time. Part of your brain is always pulling you away from your task at hand to check the time.

Try forgetting about the clock. If you have to do something at a certain time and you’re afraid you’ll get carried away and miss it, set an alarm.

 

Minimise distractions

Distractions such as a smartphone or television can make it harder for you to focus on the present moment and take you down a black hole in your mind without you even realising it.  Leave your phone in your car or put it on ‘do not disturb‘ to prevent distractions so you can be fully present and appreciate the things and people in front of you.

 

Give yourself reminders

Little reminders can be helpful so that you remember to slow down and pay attention.  Whether it is a phone wallpaper, a sign on your desk, or a decal on your mirror – visual reminders to slow down can get you out of your head and into the present.

 

Go for a walk and look around at nature

Head out for a walk and make yourself take notice at everything around you – the sounds; trees; flowers; etc.  Connect again with the world around you and allow yourself to walk gently – not racing around.

 

Take breaks

Taking breaks at home, work, or school can help you stop anxious thinking or stop feeling stressed.  Taking a break can help you to refocus and reflect.

Some helpful things to do on a break are taking a walk, taking deep breaths, or eating mindfully.  These are examples of breaks that bring you fully into your present moment experience, and out of the stress of overthinking and rushing.

 

Enjoy the little things

Getting to enjoy life more is one of the perks of living a slow life.

First, you need to learn to notice what is happening around you. Notice the breeze, the flowers, the clouds. Notice the smell of things.

 

How to live in the present moment – Final thought

If you can cultivate present moment awareness, then you can learn how to slow down and appreciate life.  Appreciation comes from actually paying attention to yourself, your body, your environment, and the people around you- not rushing from one thing to the next.

So, the next time you find yourself caught in a frenzy of stress, overwhelm, and frustration, ask yourself:

How can I choose to slow down and live in the present moment today?

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST MINDFULNESS BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

 

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Tips to be More Productive – Ultimate Guide!

Tips to be More Productive – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will thorough tips to be more productive. Do you sometimes wish you could be more productive instantly? I am sure you have! Everyone gets into productivity ruts sometimes. With these easy tips, you can start feeling more productive instantly. Read this post, but…

Simple Stress Management Techniques – Ultimate Guide!

Simple Stress Management Techniques – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will talking through simple stress management techniques. Stress is an inevitable part of life. It comes and goes at the worst of times. Unfortunately, it can be a hindrance by decreasing productivity levels, increasing anxiety, and lowering our overall mood. There are also…

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be talking about how to sleep better naturally.

Do you ever wake up in the mornings and wish you were able to get better sleep?  Maybe you feel like you toss and turn all night or your brain just doesn’t shut off.

One of the worst things that can happen when you know you have a busy day ahead of you is to feel tired, fatigued, and unenergized.  If you work at a performance-based job where you always need to be on your A-game, getting no sleep can be so detrimental to your career.

Along with that, always being tired affects your energy levels which ultimately affects your productivity.  If you’re a busy person and you have a million things to do in a day, you know how important it is to feel awake and ready to work to get stuff done!

But, don’t worry, there are ways you can fight those sleepless nights and relax at bedtime. Below, we have shared some effective ways for calming your mind and getting a good night’s sleep.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified councillor/therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

 

Sleep is so important, so if you’re having trouble sleeping, here are some tips to help you sleep better at night – I hope they help so you can feel more energised, focused, and ready to take on the day, every day!

 

Progressive muscle relaxation

This is one of the best exercises to induce sleep. A lot of sleep experts recommend evening meditation but if you suffer from anxiety, you may not want to meditate before bedtime. It might be more stimulating than relaxing.

Here’s how progressive muscle relaxation works…

Tense the individual muscle groups on your body, one at a time. Then, release the tension and notice how your muscles feel when you relax them. This exercise lowers the stress and tension in your body and it’s very effective for when you experience extreme anxiety. So, it’s useful for when you’re trying to relax enough to fall asleep.

how-to-sleep-better-naturally

Once you’re in bed, take 15 minutes to complete this exercise. Start from the top of your head and go over each individual muscle group. So, if you’re working on your forehead, raise your eyebrows as far as you can. Take a slow, deep breath as you do this. Do this for 5 seconds. Once the 5 seconds are up, relax the muscle, and exhale. You will feel the tension flow out. Move on to the next muscle group.

Take care to focus on only one muscle group at a time. Don’t clench any other part of your body, only the muscle that you’re focusing on. It becomes easier to do with practice. No part of this exercise should be painful.

 

Military method

The United States Navy Pre-Flight School introduced the now popular Military Method as part of the pilot’s training routine after they discovered that many of the pilots could not get enough sleep amidst training stress and gunfire noises in the background.

How to practice:

  • Start with your face. Relax all of your face muscles, including those inside your mouth.
  • Focus on the Shoulders. Droop them releasing all the tension and let your hands drop naturally to the side.
  • Focus on your legs. Exhale and let your leg muscles go limp and relax.
  • Take a few deep breaths. Let your chest relax with your exhale.
  • Once you relax every muscle from your face to legs, breathe normally and imagine a relaxing scene. You can also imagine yourself falling asleep.
  • If it doesn’t work, relax and say “don’t think” over and over for a few seconds.
  • You should fall asleep within a minute or two.

After 6 weeks of practice, the pilots could fall asleep in 2 minutes or fewer.

The technique worked even after drinking coffee and is also said to be effective if you need to sleep sitting up.

 

Abdominal breathing

Abdominal breathing promotes relaxation by altering the way you normally breathe. Unlike with meditation, you won’t need complete silence. You can do it either lying down with your eyes closed or while listening to soft music. Either way, in order to relax, you must pay attention to your breathing.

To effectively do abdominal breathing, lie on your back and place your hands on your chest and abdomen. That helps track your breathing. Remember to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Others prefer exhaling through the nose, which is not an issue.

 

 

4-7-8 breathing

This breathing technique has been said to have the ability to put you to sleep in as little as 60 seconds.

The technique is simple.

Lay on your back and breathe in deeply. Breathe into the count of four. Hold that breath for a count of seven. Exhale the breath to the count of eight.

Repeat this until you have fallen asleep. It is a cleansing breath, slow breathing technique, and will help your body to slowly calm down and create a feeling of calm.

 

Counting Breath

This type of breathing technique is precisely what it sounds like. You simply breathe in and count that as a breath. Breathe out and count that as well. So, you would be breathing for each count. For example, breathing in would be count one, and breathing out would be count two.

This works for people that find counting to be restful and calming. It can also be the start of a breathing technique that bleeds into another technique like the 4-7-8 method.

 

Self-guided mediation

Many people have used self-guided meditation apps before they lay down to sleep. You may incorporate this new option into your bedtime routine.

how-to-sleep-better-naturally

Combined with going to sleep earlier, practice some meditation via a free self-guided meditation app or YouTube on your smartphone. This will help you relax your mind and in turn, you’ll slip off into slumber easier without negative thoughts.

 

 

Use a white noise machine

Do they have trouble sleeping without having at least some noise in the background?  Or if you live right in the heart of the city where it’s really noisy or in an apartment where the walls are thin, a white noise machine can be super helpful to help you fall asleep faster.

This white noise machine plays 30 different natural sounds and even comes with a handy timer so that it’ll shut off after a certain time period if you don’t want it running all night.

 

Stop using electronics too close to lights-out

You’ve probably heard that it’s not recommended to use your smartphone in bed. Reading on your cell phone, laptop or e-reader or watching TV before bed can mess with your circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Plus, it may even contribute to weight gain, according to a 2019 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Disconnect from your devices well before bedtime. If you like to read before you hit the sheets, opt for a hardcover book rather than an e-reader. And if you can, take the TV out of the bedroom altogether so you’re not tempted to fall asleep with it on.

 

Try reading

Reading is a healthy activity as it primarily sharpens your imagination. Aside from that, it can also aid you in relaxing and staying calm before going to bed.

Reading may also help your mind separate stress from sleep time. It is important to take note though that healthy reading should be done with the paper book, not the electronic one.

Books read from electronic devices produce a type of bright light that may lower the production of melatonin, a hormone that stimulates the sleep-wake cycle.

 

Minimise caffeine intake

Most people might like drinking coffee, especially in the morning as it may help them feel awake, but caffeine can have negative effects on your sleep if consumed in high amounts.

Because caffeine promotes alertness by preventing chemicals in the brain that trigger good sleep or encourage regular sleep cycle, this will make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

The effects of caffeine may vary from one person to another, though, so it’s advisable you should not consume caffeine at least six hours prior to sleep.

 

Do a brain dump

A brain dump is simply the act of dumping all the contents of your mind onto paper as one might dump the contents of a purse onto a table. You are spilling out stressors, your nagging thoughts, your pesky annoyances.

Whenever you feel confused, scattered, or overwhelmed. It gets your swirling thoughts down onto paper so you can think about them and examine them and make decisions about them rather than just hold them.

If your thoughts are taking over when bed time is approaching, this method is great way of getting things off your mind to help you sleep.

 

 

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Final thoughts

If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, I hope these 10 tips help to enhance your sleep quality.

These tips are very simple to put in place but surprisingly effective. So, give them a try today and start enjoying the best sleep of your life.

What are your tips and ideas to get a good night sleep?

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST SELF-CARE BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

 

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7 Motivational Uplifting Quotes – W/C 17th May 2021

7 Motivational Uplifting Quotes – W/C 17th May 2021

The right quote at the right time can transform your life. Not all quotes are powerful. But every once in a while, you come across a quote that stands out from the rest. These powerful quotes inspire you to take a step back and to…

50 Gratitude Journaling Prompts – Simple Guide!

50 Gratitude Journaling Prompts – Simple Guide!

Today I will talking you through 50 gratitude journaling prompts. Journaling is quickly becoming more popular, with hordes of people starting their day by opening the pages of their notebook and writing. Writing has long been recommended by counsellors and psychologists as a way to…

Time Management Tips and Techniques – Ultimate Guide!

Time Management Tips and Techniques – Ultimate Guide!

Time I will be talking you through time management tips and techniques.

Do you have a lot to get done, but you don’t know where to start? So many people think they do not have enough time to do the things they need and want to do.

Most people, however, just need to learn to manage their time better. If you have a super-long to-do list it can be overwhelming to figure out how to fit it all into your day.

You do not have to implement all of these tips to be successful. Feel free to pick one or two that resonate with you and start there.

Even utilising a few of the techniques on this list will help you make your day more manageable.

Once you master a few, you can move on and choose a couple more to work on later. It doesn’t matter what you have going on, whether at work or at home, these time management tips are sure to make you more productive.

People are busier today than ever before. Sometimes we go so far as to glorify busy as if taking on too much is a badge of honour that we should wear proudly.

We have to be careful about how we choose to spend our time. It is so important to manage your time well, so you can spend more time on the things that truly matter.

I hope you have a good idea of what that is for you, so you can focus your efforts accordingly.

Below are 10 simple time management tips and techniques that will skyrocket your productivity.

 

 

Time Management Tips and Techniques – Ultimate Guide!

 

Shift your mindset

One of the best time management skills you can adopt is the ability to shift your mindset. To have an open mind; able to understand fresh perspectives and to be willing to question them.

Basically, to challenge both yourself and your assumptions in regards to how things work.

One great way to do this is to simply ask yourself why. For example, why…

  • Do I do X first thing in the morning?
  • Am I responsible for X tasks?
  • Is there only so much of X?

These questions are meant to help you understand the big picture. Because you’ll often find that the work you do isn’t aligned with your goals.

Which is a problem.

So, from time to time, ask yourself why.

You may just discover some new ways of doing things. Or better yet, that some things that you do now don’t need to be done at all!

 

 

Utilise a calendar

Ah, the calendar. Seen by many as one of the top time management strategies (myself included).

Why?

Because of how helpful it is in organizing your life.

Whether planning for today, for your week, or for a year from now, using a calendar is a must.

time-management-tips-and-techniques

Most smartphones come with a calendar built in. Personally, I use the default one that comes on Apple devices. I’ve also heard great things about Google Calendar too. You can use a free app or a paper calendar. You can use a notebook or a spreadsheet.

It doesn’t matter as long as you have some sort of system for planning.

Use your calendar as a way to plan for the future, to stay organized, and to manage your time.

 

Stop multitasking

Plain and simple – multitasking doesn’t work.

I used to consider myself the king of multitasking… until I realized that I wasn’t actually getting anything done.

So, if you’re wondering how to manage time effectively, keep this one in mind. Because by spreading your focus too thin (i.e., multitasking), you won’t be able to actually get anything done.

Instead, then, create a list of what you need to do. Pick the most important item on that list and start working on it with clarity and focus.

Close out of your social media, put your phone on airplane mode, and get it done!

By single-tasking instead of multitasking, you will make huge strides in whatever you are trying to get done.

 

Be flexible

What? Be flexible? Didn’t you just tell me to plan out my life with a calendar?

Yes, but there’s more to time management than just using a calendar.

Things will happen unexpectedly. Problems arise here or there, deadlines change, software crashes.

Life will mess up your plans occasionally.

And when that happens, you need to be flexible.

In those moments, use your time to the best of your ability, but don’t be too hard on yourself if other things take precedence. Be flexible with your schedule and open to the fact that things will change and you’ll have to adapt as you go.

However, don’t use those events as an excuse to stop working towards your goals.

Instead, once the unexpected situation is resolved, get back to the task at hand with determination and drive.

 

 

Know when to say no (and yes!)

You may feel the urge to say yes to every single thing that comes your way. It’s a common feeling that many share.

And I get it. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity. So, if you say yes to everything, you’ll never miss a thing.

That’s not true though.

Keep in mind that one of the best time management skills that you should develop is to recognise when to say yes and when to say no. Because if you say yes to one opportunity, that means you are simultaneously saying no to potentially hundreds of other opportunities.

For example, if you attend a conference over the weekend that you have no interest in, that’s time that you could’ve spent:

  • Working on your side project
  • Exercising
  • Reading
  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Updating your resume for a better job

But instead of doing any of those things, you’re sitting in some poorly lit meeting room listening to someone drone on about something you’re never going to use.

So, recognise that every time you say yes to one thing you are also saying no to something else and decide accordingly.

 

Optimise your meetings

Meetings are time wasters.

At best they help move a project along. At worst they burn an hour from your otherwise productive day.

So similar to recognising when to say yes and no, take the time to understand which meetings will provide value to you before agreeing to them.

If deemed not valuable, politely decline.

Or if you determine that it’s an important meeting to attend, make sure that:

  • Only the necessary people are there. Keep it small and concise.
  • There is an outline of topics that will be covered.
  • That it is scheduled for a short period and ends on time.

I try and avoid meetings at all costs, but when I need to attend them, I make sure they follow those guidelines.

 

Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone

Here’s one of the best (and simplest) time management skills to develop – pick up the phone.

Sending emails back and forth wastes time. Communication can often fall apart, message deliveries can get delayed, people can take days to respond.

Time-Management-Tips-and-Techniques

If you are looking to get things done fast, try picking up the phone and calling the other person instead.

Doing so will avoid unnecessary time waste and miscommunication.

 

Prioritise

With an ever-expanding list of to-dos, it is imperative that you prioritize the important versus the non.

So, go through your list and determine which items are important, not important, urgent, and not urgent (often referred to as the Eisenhower Matrix).

Use your goals as a reference point to help determine which items should be worked on first.

Put the urgent, important items at the top of your list and either remove or put the not urgent, not important items at the bottom.

Slow down and prioritise!

 

 

Get motivated

Whether it’s work, your routine, or overall health, burnout is not fun to deal with.

So be proactive!

motivated

Experiment with different ways of keeping yourself fresh and motivated. Build in some new positive habits, try out some new techniques, keep pushing onward.

Treat your mind and body well so that you can sustain your energy levels through the long haul.

You can be more productive!

 

 

Learn to focus

To close out the list of time management skills, one skill that you’ll greatly benefit from developing is focus.

Because the better you can focus, the easier it will be for you to complete important tasks and get real work done. It’s a truly essential skill to have in your time management tool belt.

So, try putting:

  • Your phone on airplane mode so that you don’t get distracted
  • Some music on that helps you focus
  • Your current workspace aside and go find a quieter place to get work done

The key to making this time management skill work is to uncover what best allows you to concentrate.

 

 

Final thoughts

Just like learning how to use a hammer or paint a wall, building out your time management skill repertoire will take time.

It won’t be immediate and it won’t happen overnight.

But if you take little steps forward with your skills each day, your ability to effectively manage your time and get more done will continue to grow and grow.

So, get to it!

Push forward and make the progress you’re after!

Use the time management skills listed above and start harnessing your time like never before.

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST SELF-DEVELOPMENT BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

 

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Brain Dump Exercise – Declutter Your Mind!

Brain Dump Exercise – Declutter Your Mind!

Today I will be discussing what a brain dump exercise is and what benefits the practice can have. I don’t know about you, but I used to often have so many thoughts running through my head at once, it would be overwhelming. I would end up in…