These are three habits that changed my life. All three of them made me happier, more productive and because of that, I’m achieving so much more each day!
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So when I first started going to college, I was a slacker. This was mainly because I lacked discipline and procrastinated, literally every little thing. I started slowly incorporating some habits into my daily routine and there are three habits in particular that have changed the game for me. That’s what we’ll be talking about today. Three habits that will change your life.
The first habit that can change your life is meditation. Meditation or practicing mindfulness has the potential to improve your life in all aspects. Let me tell you something about the science-backed benefits of meditation. practicing mindfulness gives us space and clarity we need to organize our thoughts and priorities. This is the core of stress management. And so meditation can reduce stress. Through mindfulness meditation, our minds can become more capable, focused, and clear. And this enables us to better handle stressful situations.
One of the greatest benefits that I found of meditation is that it really helps my anxiety. Anxiety is the inability to regulate your emotional responses to perceived threats. Mindfulness meditation strengthens a person’s ability to regulate emotions. A small study published in February 2016, in the Journal of consciousness and cognition suggested that meditation may help people cope with anger, improvements were seen which is the one session of meditation.
Mindfulness meditation enhances self-awareness. Self Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivations, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude, and your responses to them at the moment. The reason self-awareness is so important is that it allows you to know what your body mind and spirit is craving, in order to live a fulfilling life. In high school, I was diagnosed with ADD or attention deficit disorder. My attention span was short, and it was frustrating. I used to take medication that stopped a couple of years later, because of its bad side effects. I found that meditation lengthened my attention span and whenever I got distracted, I was able to catch myself faster and bring myself back to the present.
Research says that meditation helps in improving concentration and focus. You see, meditation is about focusing on breathing or some kind of affirmation, so we can say it will help make our mental cells related to focus and concentration to get stronger, hence improving your ability to focus. It also helped me revise and memorize my notes. One study conducted by researchers in Boston found that frequent meditation seemed to bolster the cerebral cortex of the brains. The cortex deals with mental functions such as learning, concentration, and memory, and regular meditation increases blood flow to the brain, which leads to a stronger network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex.
This reinforces memory capacity. by meditating 20 minutes a day, you can improve your focus and memory capacity. And ever since I was 14, I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, but meditating a couple of minutes before bed seemed to improve this is a study published a few years ago in JAMA Internal Medicine included 49 middle-aged and older adults who had trouble falling asleep have completed a mindfulness awareness program that taught them meditation to help them focus on the moment by moment experiences, thoughts, and emotions. The other half completed a sleep education class that taught them ways to improve their sleep habits. Both groups met six times once a week for two hours, compared with the people in the sleep education group. Those in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression at the end of the six sessions.
If you’re just starting out, I recommend you meditate for anywhere from five to 10 minutes every day, you can start with even less, maybe try it for one minute in the morning. And then when you can sit still and relax for that long. Move on to two minutes. And then you keep increasing your time as you get comfortable with the practice.
The second habit that can change your life is waking up early. This is because your productivity is greatly influenced by your mornings. Let me give you a quick example. Imagine that every day you wake up at 6 am and follow this exact morning routine. During 250 milliliters of lemon water, do a quick stretch, drink a quick coffee and go jogging for 15 minutes, shower, eat a healthy meal, meditate for 10 minutes and then go over your daily to-do lists. Now imagine that by 7 am everything is done. Then you could combine your passion with your duty. I always do my homework in the morning. So I have the entire afternoon and evening left to create content. If you add up another Three or four extra morning hours that would have normally be taken up by sleeping, you have the perfect formula for greater productivity and abundant results.
When you wake up early, you’re up before everyone else, only by thinking of the fact that you’re up and running while the rest of sleeping will give you a burst of motivation. Of course, motivation is very complex, it can appear and disappear. But if you’re building a daily habit of waking up earlier with a purpose in mind, your brain will get used to releasing the needed amount of dopamine in order for you to get to work and accomplish your goals.
If you decide to wake up earlier, you probably do it for a specific reason. You want to be more productive, you want to have more time, or you want to build the success that you’re craving, let me assure you that you’re on the right track and here’s why. Waking up earlier gives you enough time to plan and strategize your day, instead of letting the environment control your life. By that I’m referring to the situation in which you wake up, go to work and get your child from kindergarten, get home, do some cooking, watch TV because you’re tired, go to sleep, and then begin again. This is what happens when you let your life control you. or more precisely when you let the environment control you instead of you controlling it.
Waking up earlier and planning your day is a powerful way to make every day a success. In case you don’t believe in morning people you can keep on waking up late and staying a part of the average population who is forced to wake up. Or you can decide to adopt this healthy habit as soon as possible. And before you know it, you’ll be waking up because you want to. You’ll do it because a new beautiful day is waiting to be experienced. And you’ll be able to accomplish so much more throughout the day, just by prioritizing the most important and productive hours of the day, the early morning hours. The third habit is to eat the frog.
Now, what does that mean? It means to identify one important task for the day and do it first, you’ll still work on other things. But your most important task will be prioritized first before all those less important but more urgent things get in the way. And of course, you can always experiment with the exact number of tasks. But I’m encouraging you to try this out first. And there’s just something about the simplicity and hyper-focus of just one task that I found makes this method so effective. And here’s why it works.
Eat the frog promotes a deep work habit. The most valuable work in today’s knowledge economy mostly works that requires all your mental energy to be focused on one thing, think mentally demanding tasks like coding, designing, and problem-solving. Yet the modern workspace isn’t set up to support that kind of distraction-free deep work. We’re distracted by so many emails, meetings and chat messages, and requests for inputs that we don’t even have the time or space to focus on our most important tasks. Eat the frog requires us to push back against all those distractions both external and internal. And this way, we will prioritize the actions that will actually bring us closer to our goals.
Putting your most important task first ensures you’re setting your own agenda. also often the first thing we do when we sit down to work is to check our email and incoming messages and email and instant messaging tools put you in reactive mode. As soon as you start responding, you’ve seen it your time and attention to what other people want or need you to do. This kind of reactive prioritization can quickly take over your workday. In contrast, the frog asks you to put your agenda first before any other requests come in to derail your day.
It’s human nature to overestimate what we can get done in one day. That’s why productivity systems often end up making us feel like we’re constantly behind and failing to keep up. When we feel bad, we’re more likely to avoid what is making us feel bad. In contrast, eat the frog forces you to focus on less, even when you know you can do more. Any day that you eat your frog is a good day.
Following the method means you’ll be making progress on something meaningful on a daily basis. When you experience a win first thing in the morning, you’re more likely to build momentum and good vibes to carry you through the rest of your workday. It’s very simple and straightforward. But here are a few tips that can help you apply the method consistently and successfully.
The first step is to pick something you’ll be able to complete in one to four hours and your frog should take half a day’s worktops. a clearly defined realistic task will make it easier to get started and not procrastinate on checking it off your list before lunch will give you a concrete win and will give you a boost of endorphins to carry you into the rest of your day.
The second tip is to break it down into smaller steps if needed. If your frog is going to take more than half a day, break it down into smaller steps that will take four hours or less. The next concrete action on that list is your new frog. For example. In order to complete tasks, create a business plan. Your frog for today might be completely competitive market research. Your frog should take no more than half a day to complete.
The third tip is to prepare your frog the night before. Okay? Should you
should plan a little bit ahead the night before you’re close enough to be able to plan accurately, but still far enough removed from actually having to do it for too much mental resistance to kick in.
And the fourth tip is to eat your frog first thing. Whatever your frog for the day happens to be. Do it first thing when you sit down to work if possible. Don’t schedule any meetings. Don’t catch up on Twitter, don’t check your email. Don’t even think about all the other less important things you’ll have to do later in the day, I focus all of your mental energy on your frog and only your frog.
Alright, so those were the three habits that can change your life. I hope I was able to give you some useful insights in this episode.
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In the next episode, I’ll be discussing self-sabotaging behavior, so be sure to subscribe if you’re interested!