Lots of people talk about the importance of making positive changes to your life. Usually they refer to things like getting exercise, waking earlier or drinking water.
But today, let’s look at 12 things that you can do that will make a huge difference to your happiness, productivity and results.
1. Make your schedule easier
People who have packed schedules, live stressed lives and have no time to think. Take control of your schedule and give yourself lots of gaps to rest and reflect. You might feel this means getting less done, but the extra time to think will contribute to greater success.
2. Set a shortlist of to-do’s for the day
Structure your day around (maximum) 2 or 3 things that you absolutely have to do. Make time for them. Don’t overload your to-do list and then feel bad at the end of each day.
3. Break down intimidating tasks into tiny segments
If you are putting off something it’s because the task needs to be broken down further. This is one you need to keep working at, because your tendency will always be to set the bar too high. Keep telling yourself to break it down.
4. Write down what you achieved at the end of the day
I used to end the work day and always feel like I hadn’t done enough.
But since I started quickly jotting down what I had achieved during the day, I feel so much more satisfied with my work habits.
5. Review one positive thing that happened during the day
I can’t remember where I read this tip, but the rationale is that you get double the enjoyment from something good happening during the day.
6. Schedule in “maintenance time”
I got this idea from Chris Bailey who wrote the Productivity Project.
Have a list of maintenance tasks (for example giving in dry cleaning, getting the car washed etc) and schedule time in your week to ensure these get done.
7. Make time every day for loved ones
Ensure that each and every day, you spend at least 10 minutes with people you love (even if it’s by phone). What else is the point of life?
8. Go to a park or a cafe and just think
I am a big fan of TT (thinking time). Remember, people who are successful have thought things through (and then taken action) more than average people. Change your environment and then do some thinking.
9. Don’t ever go to the supermarket for just one thing
Batching tasks saves you time. When you have a list of errands, don’t do one each day. Do them all at the same time.
10. Use travel time constructively
Listening to news or reading the paper is a waste of time! Find books or podcasts or use your commute time to do structured thinking.
11. Take a conscious breath
One conscious breath with full attention, can change your state of mind. When you get in the car in the morning, take one conscious breath before starting the ignition.
12. Go easy on yourself
It’s easy to keep putting pressure on yourself. I know. Sometimes I can be relentlessly demanding of myself. But each day, take a minute to tell yourself, you’re doing OK. Life is much better that way.