Good habits can change your life. Better habits can improve your life. Lifelong routines change everything. Life-changing habits compound in our favor — they accelerate growth and help us become happy, healthy, and wealthy. Doing one thing by yourself, for yourself, that creates joy is such an important habit,” says Jay Shetty.

Many of these quick habits take just a few minutes to practice, but they can have a massive return on your life. If you are too busy for better habits, restructure your routine. You don’t need more time; you need to redefine your commitments.

“It’s not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it’s that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have, says Gary Keller in his book The One Thing. Some of these actions and behaviors can change the trajectory of your life in less than 66 days. They can soon become a productive way to spend your day.

  1. For every demand on your time, pause or delay your response and think about the first and second-order consequences before saying yes.

  2. Practice social media fast once a week and use that time to read a few chapters of your favorite book.

  3. Write things down. Don’t try to remember everything. The brain is notorious for forgetting ideas.

  4. Start your day with a plan — you will think less and move faster.

  5. Plan intentional breaks in-between focus work — it will help you recover and recharge for the next task.

  6. The world’s most successful people are always learning — be deliberate about how you feed your brain.

  7. Choose your knowledge sources carefully.

  8. Begin your day with the end in mind — focus on a few high-priority tasks at a time.

  9. Unplug yourself from work when it’s done — it improves mental clarity.

  10. Schedule news time — don’t react to every news break or notification. It’s a productive way to take back time for what you care about.

  11. Start your day with 5 minutes session — it improves flexibility and boosts your mood.

  12. Drink at least a glass of water first thing in the morning to improve gut and brain health.

  13. Listen to audiobooks and podcasts in your gap times: waiting for your coffee, commuting to work, or work breaks.

  14. Make walking a daily or weekly habit — it’s the easiest and healthiest form of exercise to improve mental clarity and self-awareness.

  15. Upgrade your mind every year. Embrace lifelong learning to accelerate personal growth. “Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.” — Alain de Botton

  16. Track your habits that take away the biggest chunk of your time and do more of what’s working and less of what’s a time of time.

  17. Recover from work stress by scheduling quality breaks or fun habits between focused work sessions.

  18. Use some of the time you spend in front of a TV every evening to improve your reading habit. Read a few pages of your favorite book.

  19. The first half of the day is an important time for high-value work. Don’t waste it on low-value tasks.

  20. Smart learning also means unlearning old habits and patterns that didn’t serve us. Do more of what’s working every day.

  21. Make your daily tasks outcome-driven. The bigger goal determines the tiny daily processes. “Begin with the end in mind.” — Stephen Covey.

  22. Declutter your immediate workspace before you start focused work — distractions can ruin deep work.

  23. Practice the one-tab rule — use a single browser tab when you are working. It minimizes web distractions so you can stay on a single task.

  24. Limit the amount of time for every task. Set strict deadlines and don’t allow your tasks to expand the dedicated time.

  25. Never stop learning. Never stop upgrading your mindset. Never stop expanding your perceptions. Become a student for life.

  26. If your exercise routine is a chore, change it. Make it fun — that’s how you can make it sustainable.

  27. Don’t fear the many attempts at success — to succeed more, you have to fail more. Replace “perfect” with “good enough” and keep moving.

  28. Work on tasks that get you closer to your bigger goal. Master the habit of task elimination to reduce your time on unnecessary work.

  29. Want to be a better thinker? Read deeper, wider, and slower. Choose your books carefully and make time for better learning.

  30. Make daily walking is a must-have habit — your mental clarity depends on it. Plan to move often daily.

  31. If you can’t resist notifications on your phone, disable them when you are working on your high-value tasks.

  32. Make your deep work sessions sacred.

  33. Avoid stressful events, calls, activities, and people that take away your mental clarity first thing in the morning. Start your day right.

  34. Finish your day on purpose by writing down the priorities for tomorrow. It’s a better way to start the day without wasting cognitive energy planning.

  35. Start a weekly review — what worked well? Where did you get stuck? What can you improve? What should you stop doing? What caused you to stress?

  36. Be intentional about how you read the news — filter your souces and stay with credible ones that focus on just the important information.

  37. Don’t say yes when you really want to say no. Defend your time like your progress depends on it because it does.

  38. Limit the number of decisions you make in the first half of the day. It’s a productive way to save energy for important work.

  39. Invest in a hobby outside work that makes you happy, boosts your mental clarity, and leads to a fulfilling life.

  40. Take your social relationships seriously. Spend quality time with your family and the people who make you come alive — your happiness depends on it.

  41. Three things in life — your health, your mission, and the people you love. That’s it. — Naval Ravikant

  42. Value rest as much as you value work. Your productivity depends on your downtime. Make time to reset.

This article originally appeared in Medium. 

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