Some Good Mini Habits
1. Always keep a book at hand
Sometimes while commuting or even in between classes when the teacher is late or when people all around me are discussing things which do not hold my interest, I start reading. I made it a point to always keep a book at hand. In a month itself, my reading speed had vastly improved and when I talked to people, I felt that somewhere I was incorporating those ideas that I had read about. When I tell people that I finished all of Murakami’s fiction books except South of the Border, west of the Sun in a short span of 40 days they don’t believe me.
But if you start observing how much we waste on mindlessly surfing the net and all that time you catch in between your daily activities, you won’t find it a hard thing to do. In fact, once you develop this habit it will grow on you. Now, I always carry atleast two books with me. Right now even as I’m writing this I have Doestoevsky’s The Idiot and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451with me.
2. Producer mindset, folks!
Earlier when I used to sleep just after using the computer, my mind couldn’t relax and I couldn’t sleep right away. It left me feeling tired and groggy in the mornings. However, one day mum was sitting in the terrace and I sat with her and we watched the stars. It was quiet, peaceful and I slept like a baby that day. I decided to do that before sleeping. It helps me think and analyze how I spent the day, what I did and couldn’t do. What I’m trying to say is first of all:
- Cut all internet and technical activities right before you’re about to sleep; it disrupts you from having a peaceful sleep
- To spend some quiet time with yourself before you sleep, analyze how you spent the day, what all you managed to get done:
- It relaxes you and helps you to think. For me, it is watching stars at night, for you it could be something else that relaxes you and helps you think. Start and end your day with a producer mindset and not a consumer mindset. I read it somewhere and it stuck with me and trust me, it has made all the difference in my life.
When you get up, you may start with a good routine like showering and eating, but as soon as you find yourself with some free time you probably get that urge to open that game you were playing, see what you're missing on Facebook, etc.
Put all of this off until "later". Start your first free moments of the day with thoughts of what you really want to do; those long-term things you're working on, or even the basic stuff you need to do today, like cooking, getting ready for exercise, etc.
This keeps you from falling into the needy consumer mindset. That mindset where you find yourself endlessly surfing Reddit, Facebook, etc. trying to fill a void in yourself, trying to find out what you're missing, but never feeling satisfied.
When you've started your day with doing awesome (not necessarily difficult) things for yourself, these distractions start to feel like a waste of time. You check Facebook just to make sure you're not missing anything important directed at you, but scrolling down and reading random stuff in your feed feels like stepping out into the Disneyland parking lot to listen to what's playing on the car radio - a complete waste of time compared to what you're really doing today.
It sounds subtle, but these are the only days where I find myself getting anything done. I either start my day like this and feel normal and productive, or I look up and realize it's early evening, I haven't accomplished anything and I can't bring myself to focus no matter how hard I want to.
3. Exercise atleast once daily, preferably early in the morning
Have you ever gone for an early morning walk? When the sky is still dark and the only sounds you can hear is the chirping of birds? Have you ever been a runner? Felt the gush of wind as your legs carry you faster and faster? If you haven’t, you have yet to experience the exhilaration and boost such a simple activity can give to your day.
I wanted to say get up early but being a college student myself, I understand that this is sometimes hard to implement, especially if you have pulled an all-nighter, so it doesn’t become a habit. However, exercising atleast once daily is not only possible, its actually pretty easy. Whenever you grab free time, go running, or swim or jump.. whatever makes you happy. Once you fall in the habit of doing of this, it WILL change your life for the better.
Exercising atleast once daily makes me:
- More productive
Also, you don’t need to keep a tag on what you’re mindlessly munching. It’s a win win situation. So don’t be lazy and just do it man!
4. Be awesome instead
Ohkay, crazy Barney analogy but wait, hear me out. Almost every person here has mentioned how “smiling” and “random acts of kindness” has changed their lives and I have to agree with all of them. It really does work. When I used to hear Barney saying that, I would think "Could a person really be that way?" and decided to try it out and voila! It worked!
Angry friend? Should I also start shouting and cursing? No, I’ll be calm and awesome instead. Keep my cool and come up with good solutions instead of expending my energy on anger.
In a fix? Should I panic and worry? Ohkay I will worry but I’ll also be awesome! I’ll keep my cool and yes, its always better!
Barney is your go-to-guy! Just remember “Be calm and awesome instead!” it’s a mantra that I repeat to myself and it really works, I hope it works for you too!