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27 Simple Ways To Improve Your Life

27 Simple Ways To Improve Your Life

In his best-selling book Unlimited Power Tony Robbins write, “If you want to achieve success, all you need to do is find a way to model those who have already succeeded.” If you’re looking for simple ways to improve your life, here are 27 things you can start implementing right away that will make you more productive and awesome!

Plan your day based on your body’s energy cycles

Our body has natural rhythms of energy during the day which. If tracked properly, you can take advantage of the moments where you have most energy. Josh Kaufman, author of “The Personal MBA,” explains that paying attention to your energy cycles and working accordingly will help you get the most out of your time available. To get started, consider the following questions:

  • When do you feel most energetic?
  • What times of the day work best to do certain kinds of work?
  • What do you do to manage your energy during the day?

Take power naps daily

Do you think napping is for lazy people? Think again. Many studies have reported that a nap as brief as 20 minutes can improve alertness, psychomotor performance, and mood. Here are some suggestions to make the most out of your power nap:

  • Plan to take your nap at a good time in your daily sleep-wake cycle; for many people, sometime between noon and 4 p.m. is best.
  • Don’t sleep too long; a 20- to 40-minute nap may refresh your day without keeping you up at night.
  • Give yourself 10 to 15 minutes to wake up fully before you resume a demanding task.

Wake up at the same time every day

Every single time I wake up early and have an active morning, I feel a lot better and have a more productive day. The problem is that some days I hit the snooze button a little too much. Inevitably, I start those days with failure and a late start. Matt Galligan, CEO of Circa, trained himself to wake up at the same time every day by doing this small but effective experiment: Set an alarm for the same time every morning for 30 days and resist the snooze button. I know it sounds hard, but the results are amazing. If you have a consistent waking time, you’ll be more alert, have stress-free mornings, and get to work in a calm and centered state. In today’s hectic world, that goes a long way!

Drink lots of water

Why should we drink more water? If you don’t drink water, you will die. It’s that simple. Your body is composed of roughly 60% water. That means when we are dehydrated, we are affecting the performance of the majority of our body. None of our systems function as well without the proper water intake. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated can help with weight loss, reduce joint pain, flush out waste and bacteria, prevent headaches, make your skin glow, and improve overall performance. One of the best things you can do after you wake up: drink at least 16oz (500mL) of water. Water fires up your metabolism, hydrates you, helps your body flush out toxins, gives your brain fuel, and may even make you eat less.

Avoid energy drinks

Energy drinks are overloaded with caffeine and sugar in amounts that are harmful for your overall health. While energy drinks may give you a rush of energy when you first drink them, in the long run, they usually end up making you more tired and may result in harmful effects such as heart palpitations, dizziness, and even seizures. There are plenty of other beverages to enjoy like green tea or just plain coffee.

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Don’t smoke / quit smoking

One out of every two lifetime smokers will die from the effects of smoking. Nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke increase your blood pressure and heart rate and cause strain on your heart and blood vessels. Smoking increases your chance of having a stroke or heart attack dramatically as compared to the chances of a nonsmoker. Smoking makes you 10 times more likely to have lung cancer than someone who does not smoke. If you don’t smoke, that’s awesome. If you do smoke, quit now. Your life will be more awesome without smoking.

Organize your life

Organization provides a sense of control, reduces stress, and is a great confidence booster. It also allows you to concentrate on the things that really matter avoiding unnecessary clutter. Here are a few tips to help you stay organized:

  • Write things down
  • Give everything a place and put everything back in its place
  • Declutter regularly and keep only what you need
  • Use color coding

Have a protein-packed breakfast

I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Tim Ferriss and many health experts consider having 30 grams of protein with breakfast one of the most effective ways to lose weight. Research shows that a protein-rich breakfast—rather than a carb- and fat-filled one—will rev up your metabolism, keep you fuller longer, and prevent overeating later in the day.

Dress up with vibrant colors

One of the easiest ways to change your mood and mindset is simply by changing the colors you choose to wear. Many of our responses to color are subconscious—we don’t even realize the effect on our mood. But color is so powerful there’s an entire alternative medicine field dedicated to healing through hues. Red, orange and yellow have been shown to evoke a broad range of strong emotions, for example, while colors like blue, purple and green can have a calming effect.

Exercise for 20 minutes after you wake up

When you exercise early in the morning, it jump starts your metabolism and keeps it elevated for hours. That means you’re burning more calories all day long just because you exercised in the morning. If you commit to working out in the morning, you’re way less likely to have the excuse of things just popping up. Plus, you won’t be exhausted from a rough day at the office. In fact, people who work out in the morning have shown to stick to their exercise plans better than people who plan to exercise after work. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Try something simple like going for a walk, jogging, stretching, or body-weight workouts.

Get enough sleep

A lot of people brag about working on projects until 4:00 a.m. But what they fail to realize is that lack of sleep leads to depression, ages your skin, can make you forgetful, and even cause weight gain. Remember, it’s not the amount of hours you spend on a particular task, but the quality of those hours.

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Define your top three most important tasks for the day

What are the three most important things you can do today to move you toward achieving your goals? Write them down before you start your day or even the night before and get them done first thing in the morning. It will help you stay focused so you don’t waste time on tasks of low importance. If you manage to complete these tasks, you’ll feel productive even if you do nothing else on your list.

The 60/10 rule

A very effective productivity hack. Set up a timer for 60 minutes and concentrate on the task at hand. After the 60 minutes are up, take a break for 10 minutes and do something to re-energize you like going for a walk, calling a good friend, or having a cup of tea.

Meditate and express gratitude

We live in a world of instant gratification. We want things and we want them now. A lot of this attitude can be to attributed to all the latest technological advances in the last 20 years. But instant gratification can cloud our ability to be present and appreciate the small things. Gratitude is all about shifting your focus from what your life lacks to all the things you currently have. Gratitude makes people more resilient, improves health, and reduces stress. Meditation helps in noticing all different emotions and let them be for what they are. Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, says that one of the best—and cheapest—ways to become healthier and happier is through mindfulness exercises like meditation. According to Mark Williams, a professor of clinical psychology at Oxford and co-author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World, meditation helps increase your sense of purpose and reduces feelings of isolation and depression.

Have accountability partners

When you’re the only one accountable, you’re much more likely to procrastinate, delay working on tasks or simply never complete items on your list. Accountability is all about creating real consequences and guaranteeing you follow through with your goals. Creating incentives and assigning accountability are the two most important keys to achieving a goal. Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, suggests using sites like StickK, where you make your commitments public and incur financial consequences if you fail to meet them.

Don’t compare yourself to others

Everyone is going through their own challenges, struggles, and setbacks. Comparisons are useless and detrimental to our own self-esteem. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus your energy on being the very best version of yourself. Focus your energy and attention on your own goals and what is required to achieve them.

Cut out people who drag you down

Life is just too short to be surrounded by negative people who do nothing but to bring you down. The quickest way to make a change in your life is to change who you surround yourself with—and it’s totally within your control.

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Introduce music or white noise to improve focus

Low-level background noise helps muffle any distracting sounds that could interrupt your work and has been shown to improve creativity and focus for many people. Calming music, ambient nature sounds, and simple background noise may help you concentrate and stay focused on your tasks.

Do the hardest or most unappealing tasks first

When you look at your list of tasks, it’s tempting to choose the smaller, easier tasks to do first. If you have a big project that fills you with dread, you’re much more likely to procrastinate and put if off until later. However, if you get that task out of the way first, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing it’s crossed off your list and the rest of your tasks will feel like a breeze in comparison.

Write things down and capture every idea

It’s impossible not to think about something. Most people get distracted from the task at hand by wandering ideas and having thoughts about other projects. The best thing to do is to capture those ideas in a physical or electronic notepad. Once they’re out of your head and down on paper (or a screen), your brain will forget about them so you can get back to work.

Put loose change in a jar

A quarter here and a nickel there doesn’t seem like anything substantial, but when you collect all your change and keep it in one place, you’ll see how quickly it adds up! Every time you add more change to your change jar, you are essentially adding to a savings account that is growing over time.

Write down yesterday’s expenses

Tracking your expenses is the smartest way to manage your personal finances. Writing down everything you buy as well as how much it costs will give you great insight into your spending habits. Over time, you will notice trends in your spending and be able to easily decide where cuts can be made to save money.

Unsubscribe from junk email and catalogs

Receiving emails and print catalogs with discounts and promotions often leads to unnecessary spending. Saving 20% on a purchase isn’t saving any money at all if you first have to spend $100 to save $20. Getting rid of these communications can help you avoid impulse buys and save money.

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Pack a meal, coffee, or snack

Making your lunch at home and bringing it to work or making coffee at home instead of buying it at the drive-through is not only healthier for you, but cheaper as well. Going out for lunch or coffee each day quickly adds up. You can make coffee and lunch at home for a fraction of the cost.

Speak words of affirmation

A few good thoughts can change the entire course of your day for the better. If you’re having problems with confidence, then this could be a simple solution for feeling happier about the upcoming day.

Listen to your favorite song

It’s amazing what listening to your favorite song can do for your mind and body. Not only will the upbeat music stimulate the release of happy hormones, but the recollection of happy times will influence your mood. Without realizing it, you will be dancing around and singing along, which will leave you feeling happy and ready to take on the day.

Read 10% of a non-fiction book every day

Reading is a simple task that can provide you with multiple benefits. Regular reading gives your brain a workout, which improves concentration and slows down age-related mental decline. Nonfiction books have the added bonus of increasing your general knowledge, improving your analytic thinking skills, and giving you the opportunity to learn something new in just a few minutes a day.

Learn a new word every day

Expanding your vocabulary comes with a wide range of benefits. You’ll improve your ability to communicate, give your brain a mini workout and improve your confidence in social situations. You can either get a dictionary in the language of your choice and choose new words at random, or subscribe to one of the “word a day” mailing lists that are available on language-learning websites.

What other things do you do on a daily basis that significantly contribute towards improving your life?

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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