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The 5-Minute Habit That Can Change Your Life

The 5-Minute Habit That Can Change Your Life

In today’s world, it’s incredibly easy to get sidetracked from doing what truly matters to you. Every day, we are bombarded by distractions from all directions. Being able to minimize these distractions and focus your time on what’s important to you will greatly influence your entire life.

When it comes to being productive with your time and focusing your days on what really matters to you, there is a 5-minute habit that can have a significant affect on your life. It’s very simple: You must tell your time where to go.

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Taking 5 minutes every day to write down your schedule for the next day can help you stay on track toward your goals, decrease time wasted on unimportant activities, and help you make sure you are spending your days doing what matters most to you.

Here are some tips to maximize the power of writing down your schedule.

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1. Set aside time to do something you love

Every day, plan some time to do something you love, even if it’s for just 5 minutes to start. When you take time to regularly do the things that light you up, your life will change and so will the people around you. If you’re not sure what you love, check out this free workbook.

2. Make sure you’re living your top priorities

Writing down your schedule can help you stay focused on what’s truly important in your life. As you write down your schedule, make sure you’re spending time on your top priorities. If you notice that month after month, you’re neglecting what’s important and filling your schedule with junk, it’s time to re-evaluate yourself. By consistently writing down your schedule, if you discover that you’re not living your top priorities, dig deep and be really honest with yourself about what your priorities are, and re-evaluate your life and schedule so you can truly live your priorities.

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3. Group similar tasks together

When you write down your schedule, consider batching tasks together that are similar or that require you to be in the same location. This can help you minimize time spent transitioning from one activity to the next, which can help increase your productivity. Think about your daily tasks and group them in ways that allow for seamless transitions.

4. Give yourself deadlines

Deadlines are very powerful, as they can help us significantly increase our effort. When you write down your schedule, put time limits on your tasks. When you feel like the task must be completed in a certain amount of time, it can help you avoid procrastination and take immediate action. One way to maximize your use of self-imposed deadlines is to use the Pomodoro technique. This very simple technique can significantly help you to focus during your time allotted for each task.

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5. Include a small step toward a big goal on your daily schedule

In order to make regular progress toward your big goals, commit to taking a small action step every day. Each day, write out the action step you will take the next day to move yourself closer to your dreams.

I hope these time-management strategies help you as much as they’ve helped me. Writing down your schedule is a very simple exercise, yet it can be life-changing. When you tell your time where to go, it helps you focus your life on what truly matters to you. This will enable you to live a more fulfilling life. As you develop the habit of writing down your schedule, I’d love to hear how your life changes as a result. Writing down your schedule is a very simple, yet amazingly beneficial, life hack.

Featured photo credit: Stacy Spensley / https://flickr.com via flickr.com

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Last Updated on November 18, 2020

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

  1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
  2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
  3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
  4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
  5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
  6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
  7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
  8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
  9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
  10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
  11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
  12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
  13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
  14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
  15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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