There are certain habits you can adapt that will have an almost immediate effect on your life and some of these habits are very common among people who tend to do better in life than most of us. These are all habits that if you apply on a regular basis will undoubtedly have an effect on you. So in this video I’ll talk about five habits that will actually change your life for the better.
Habit 1. Reading
It shouldn’t come as a shock that some of the most successful people in the world has one core habit in common – reading books. Lots of books. And I’m not talking about fictional books like Harry Potter but non-fictional books with actual advice you can apply to improve your life in one way or another.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that “the average CEO reads 50 books a year”, however this is not entirely true. They read more than than if you want to believe a recent surveys which suggests that the number are closer to 60 books per year among top CEOs. Now of course they might also be bullshitting and exaggerating when answering these surveys, but it’s still a pretty interesting fact. It’s also worth noting that a lot of these successful self made business men were once uninspired, aimless lost people looking for some kind of meaning and that journey often started by opening a book and reading it with no real goal in mind other than to know something they didn’t already know.
Reading is one of the most powerful habits you can implement as it allows you to not only expand your knowledge and stimulate creativity, but also make better decisions and find more comfort in a sometimes chaotic world. And since I made reading a habit I’ve also made some adjustments for the better in my life whether it be conscious or not, but it has definitely had a great impact and I can’t recommend it enough.
Habit 2. Single-tasking
Multitasking is a pretty neat word that gets thrown around and all but it’s something we as humans simply can not execute effectively. Trying to do more than one thing at a time will only have more detrimental effects on progress compared to single-tasking. Multitasking and juggling between tasks will only lead to wasting time and energy which can be extremely stressful when you need to get work done. We’re trying to do everything at once which is the opposite of a great a approach when you need to progress quick. So how do you single-task effectively?
Focus on one thing and one thing only and get that done.
That’s it. This is something Cal Newport talks about in his book Deep work and some of the keys to successful single-tasking is to remove and distance yourself from any distractions such as social media. Put your phone away completely or turn on airplane mode to avoid any interrupting notifications.
Then you should give yourself a strict period of time to spend working, anything from 30 min to two hours, or even more than that. During this time, you’ll set aside everything else other than your task at hand and just crank at it like there’s no tomorrow. And once that period of time is over you can revert back to doing whatever. But to further make sure that the effort isn’t mindlessly doing something just to get to the end of that period of time you’ll also have to put limits or deadlines on your tasks, such as writing a set number of words for your paper before the time is up. It’s very challenging but it’s those limits and deadlines you set that will create that sense of urgency you need to get it done.
Habit 3. Meditation
Meditation is something I’ve touched on before and it’s because this habit is one that is so overwhelmingly used by the majority of highly successful people it would be a crime for me not to include it.
When Tim Ferriss interviewed hundreds and hundreds of people for his book tools of titans, meditation was the habit that more than 80 % of the people had in common, and that’s no coincidence. It’s a practice that when done correctly and over time will improve pretty much everything else you do. Let’s take reading as an example. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have read while thinking about something completely different but still doing enough to turn pages. And then two pages deep I realize I’ve just mindlessly glanced over the words without actually processing what I’ve read and I have to read it all again. Here’s where meditation can come in handy as you’ll be able to focus more while you can also read for longer periods of time and retain the information better. And this doesn’t only apply for reading but you’ll be a little sharper in pretty much everything you do.
And if you’ve never done any kind of mindfulness practice before just know that it usually takes a few weeks before you’ll notice the effects of it, and that’s why it’s so important to make it a habit and it only takes a few minutes a day. There are apps you can use that will make it easier for you such as headspace which I use and no I’m not sponsored or work with them it’s just what I use. You don’t have to use anything to get started but it might just make it a bit easier for you, at least in the beginning.
Habit 4. Eating once a day
Here’s a slightly controversial habit that will make a lot of people freak out when they hear it for the first time. Eat once a day, and fill the rest of the day up with basic natural coffee or tea and water. I can sense your little fingers on the keyboard typing out an angry response to this but If you want to argue this with me just know that a lot of recent studies and research are on my side in terms of actual benefits for your overall health.
The traditional way of eating six small meals a day is not only impractical but constantly refueling your body seems to do more harm than good, and this way of eating won’t really benefit anyone except for the massive food corporations that wants you to eat all the time. However eating only one meal a day might be a bit extreme to start of with so try to go for two meals a day during an eight hour window and work from there. Not only does it do wonders for your body and mind, but it will also free up a lot time and you now have bigger chunks of space free to get stuff done.
If you want to know more about this concept called OMAD I’ve done another video where I talk about it in more detail which you can watch here. But this is also something you’ll most likely struggle with in the first few days or weeks but once you get used to it, god damn you won’t want to go back. It makes life less clustered, especially if you have to travel a lot as you can just squeeze in your one meal when it fits the schedule rather than to carry around snacks or get those ridiculously expensive meals at the airport that you could’ve used to pay your monthly rent with.
Habit 5. Waking up early
I know you don’t really want to hear that you should drag yourself out of bed earlier than you already do but damn does it feel good to zip that morning coffee while the sun goes up knowing you have plenty of time before you actually have to do anything. Again this is a habit the majority of highly successful people have implemented because it actually works. And it’s right here in the calm before the storm of the day, you want to have a ritual that you can follow every morning to set you up for the often chaotic day.
The great stoic Marcus Aurelius used to remind himself every morning that he will inevitably encounter bitter, angry, disrespectful people but that their behavior are out of his control. He could only only control how he reacted to those people and he chose to not really give a damn about it or just laugh it off, which seems like a rarity in today’s overly sensitive society. But if you can master that trait you’ll save yourself a ton of energy and frustration. But try to aim for some structure here at the start of your day, rather than rushing and stressing from it because you want to snooze one more time, as that does more harm than good in the long run.
Now to end this, I want to highlight that you should only really start with developing one habit at a time, and avoid doing too many drastic changes at once. It’s like trying to build a huge solid castle in a single day. You can’t rush these things. It will most likely fall from the slightest of pushes because the structure is weak and messed up and then you’ll just end up being discouraged to build it again. Start small with one habit and build from there, that’s your foundation. Once you have the foundation complete and set in stone, that’s when you can start building the walls and towers of your castle, meaning you can add other habits.