Category Archives: diligence

Why People Die by Suicide and What We Can Do to Prevent It

Suicide is a leading cause of death and can be mitigated with suicide prevention steps and open discussions on mental health. September is National Suicide Prevention Month, with September 10 designated as World Suicide Prevention Day and the week (September 10 to 16) focused on building suicide awareness and reducing stigma around death by suicide.

Dr. Rory O’ Connor, a Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Glasgow, where he heads the Suicide Behaviour Research Laboratory, notes that it’s a common and harmful myth that asking someone if he has suicidal thoughts will plant the idea into his head. Rather, asking this difficult question could instead lead the person to get the help needed.

In his book, When It is Darkest: Why People Die by Suicide and What We Can Do to Prevent It, Dr.  O’ Connor points out:

1. Suicide rates increase in warmer months, not colder months.

2. Sudden and unexplained improvement in mood – in a person who has suffered a depressive episode – might be a warning sign.

3. A major setback or loss in status or relationships can trigger suicidal thoughts, even if the person has not previously experienced depression or other mental health issues.

4. Suicide risk is affected by a wide range of conditions, including individual factors (like biology and brain health) and environmental factors (like cultural and social contexts).

5. The motivational model of suicide behavior involves three parts: the premotivational phase, the motivational phase, and the volitional phase. Not everyone who has suicidal thoughts in the premotivational phase moves to the motivational phase (where they have suicidal ideation or intention formulation) or the volitional phase (where they engage in suicidal acts or behavior, which may be fatal or non-fatal).

6. People with high social perfectionism have thin psychological skin such that when the bows and arrows of life hit them, their skin is much more likely to be pierced metaphorically. Thus, they are more inclined to feel defeated or humiliated and begin to have suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

7. People end their life to manage unbearable pain when they see no other solution to end the pain.

Unwanted social isolation and chronic loneliness have a dramatic, negative effect on a person’s mental wellness, emotional well-being and physical health. But choosing to engage in alone time through solitude can be therapeutic and restorative. Depending on the circumstances, solitude can be one effective route to deal with loneliness and the mental health issues that accompanies it.

To learn more, check out my video, Solitude: The Overlooked Path to Move Through Loneliness on The Incrementalist YouTube channel. Or listen to the podcast episode or read the transcript.

While it’s essential to have support from loved ones, friends, confidantes and professionals when dealing with suicidal thoughts, it’s equally important to be able to draw from one’s own inner reserves to navigate tough times. Reaching out for support starts with processing your own thoughts and feelings and knowing when you really need help.

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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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Turn your hard efforts into easier steps

As you make gains, step by step, your actions and behaviors that used to take a lot of effort become more like a habit. You can choose to stay there and enjoy what you’ve accomplished or take the next step for a new challenge. You might also realize that just because something feels easy and natural to you doesn’t mean it’s merely your comfort zone. It could be your zone of genius, but you keep getting pulled out of it due to self-sabotage and external demands.

The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps, is now available on both Amazon and Leanpub.

It includes 5 core principles:

Principle 1: Prioritize and define your most important projects.

Principle 2: Break down your project into a step-by-step process.

Principle 3: Make time to take the necessary action steps.

Principle 4: Find your natural rhythm and work with it.

Principle 5: Rest and recharge.

With the Incrementalist approach, you tie all these universal principles together to help you achieve the right things gradually and deliberately – instead of being in a mad rush to get all the stuff done. Use this time-tested pathway to remind yourself of what it means to be truly productive and to get back on track, irrespective of how far off course you may be.

The book shows you how to skillfully practice the principles to do the right things, in the right way, at the right time – even when you feel unmotivated or uninspired.

If you buy it, read it, and enjoy it, please recommend it others and post a 5-star customer review on Amazon! Your support goes a long way in encouraging more readers to check it out and benefit from it as well.

If you bought the earlier, in-progress version of the book on Leanpub, the latest August 2023 edition has been updated to correct typos and grammatical errors, flesh out ideas and concepts, and include new and important content in each chapter.

When buying the book, consider the pros:

On Leanpub, you get free access to updated versions, a happiness guarantee (100% refund within 60 days of purchase), and a flexible price range.

On Amazon, you get the lowest price overall and immediate availability on your Kindle or Kindle app. (NOTE: If you buy the book on Leanpub, you can add it to your Kindle or Kindle app with a download and a click. To learn more, go HERE.)

To listen to Turn your hard efforts into easier steps, click here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist podcast at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

Watch the 25-second video and the 3-minute video for more on what you will get from reading the book. Also subscribe to our YouTube channel or podcast to learn how to keep making big changes in small steps.

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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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2023 AILA Annual Conference and Webcast (June 21 – 24); Panel Speaker for The Art of Time Management

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will host the 2023 AILA Annual Conference and Webcast on Immigration Law, from June 21 to 24, in Orlando, Florida.

If you’re a U.S. immigration lawyer, join your colleagues for four days of skill development, connecting with your AILA colleagues, learning the basics, and delving into creative solutions for challenging problems. In addition, there are wellness, law practice management, and technology sessions to attend.

For the Special Sessions track, The Art of Time Management, on Wednesday, June 21, 9:30 am ET/8:30 am CT, I will be a panel speaker with fellow AILA members, Jacob Ratzan, Kelly Ryan and Zaira Solano.

Here’s the description for the session:

So much to do and so little time! Do you feel like you have 30 hours of tasks to complete in a 24- hour day? Panelists will discuss time management strategies that will help you achieve optimum operational efficiencies and reduce stress.

  1. Prioritizing and delegating tasks
    o Eliminating low priority tasks

2. Communicating effectively while adhering to your standard of quality

3. Achieving a balance between scheduling and flexibility, leaving time for professional and
personal contingencies 

4. Block scheduling, organizing your calendar based on related tasks
o Carving out blocks of time for consultations or drafting 

5. The value of regular administrative or case audits 

6. Creating time for business development

To view the full program, click here

To register for the conference, go to 2023 AILA Annual Conference and Webcast on Immigration Law.

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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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Making Decisions When You Don’t Know What to Do

Uncertain outcomes and imperfect data make it tougher to decide. A decision starts with a choice, which is an opportunity to select from two or more options. A decision is cutting off options and narrowing it down to just one. This is harder to do in novel, high-stakes situations.

In episode 63 of The Incrementalist, you will learn how to make better decisions in the face of uncertainty:

1. Understand that decision making starts with knowing what you really want. Go with thick desires, instead of thin desires.
2. Find out where you are on the Social Behavior Map in decision making.
3. Embrace Wicked Learning Environments.
4. Create Kinder Learning Environments.
5. Consider the need for certainty as a pitfall in decision making. 

To learn more by reading the transcript, go here.

To listen to Making Decisions When You Don’t Know What to Do, click here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist podcast at Apple Podcasts or other apps if you’re an auditory learner.

Watch the video, Making Decisions When You Don’t Know What to Do on our YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show. And subscribe to the show to keep making big changes in small steps.

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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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Making Decisions When You Have Choice Overload and Cognitive Biases

Decision making can be daunting. A decision can be so tough that you avoid it for as long as possible, instead of approach it head-on. And we can get worn out by the sheer number of choices we make daily.

In episode 62 of The Incrementalist, you will learn two major pitfalls in decision making and strategies to navigate them.

To learn more by reading the transcript, go here.

To listen to Making Decisions When You Have Choice Overload and Cognitive Biases, click here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist podcast at Apple Podcasts or other apps if you’re an auditory learner.

Watch the video on our YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show. And subscribe to the show if you enjoy video learning. This will help the show grow and reach you and others who want to create big changes in small steps.

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Dyan Williams is a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is also a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

SUBSCRIBE           CONTACT